Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Claddagh Rings

Even when I don't wear all my jewelry I still wear my class ring (until I lost it two weeks ago) and my sterling silver Claddagh ring. I really like the Claddagh, partly because it's Irish and partly because it's a relationship status ring.

I did a lot of research about the Claddagh after I received one about 9 and half years ago. Since then I haven't been able to find all the info online that I found then, but fortunately I still remember it; so besides what the Wikipedia article says about it, here's a little info about the lovely Irish Claddagh ring.

(I wish my camera would let me get closer)

The Claddagh is made of a heart, a pair of hands, and a crown, symbolizing Love, Friendship, and Fidelity (in Irish, "Grá, dílseacht agus cairdeas", pronounced "graw, dealshocked ahgess cordiss").
A poem to illustrate it:

The hands are there for friendship,
The heart is there for love,
For loyalty throughout the year
The crown is raised above.

As Wiki says, the Claddagh is a Fede ring, or "faith ring"; it's also a relationship status ring. This is one of the bits of info that I remember from years ago but haven't seen in entirety since. Relationship status is determined by how and where you wear your ring:

Right hand, with crown pointed towards your wrist: Single/Friendship
Right hand, with crown pointed towards fingernails: Dating/Courting/"love is being considered"
Left hand, crown towards wrist: Engaged
Left hand, crown towards fingernails: Married/"let love and friendship reign forever"

example of second position:

The third position is the one that I haven't seen mentioned in a long time. Sometimes it just says wearing it on the left hand means "love and friendship forever", and sometimes it actually describes the whole fourth position (crown pointed outwards) meaning married, but still skips the third. I don't know why that is, perhaps because "engaged" is supposed to automatically lead to "married" so they're combined into "married", but I like having all four positions and meanings attached. In fact I think it makes more sense that way since the second position doesn't always lead to the third and fourth, and most people get engaged before they get married. Also maybe I'm a traditionalist... ;-) Especially with Irish traditions. Did I mention I like everything that is Irish?

And my brother and future sister-in-law are going to Ireland for their honeymoon next year. *jealousy jealousy* One of these days I'll have a picture of her lovely engagement ring, designed and made by him, if they ever get around to coming over.

Oh I haven't seen Leap Year yet... should put it on the Netflix list.

Well until next post,

May you have warm words on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And the road downhill all the way to your door.
-Irish blessing


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