claddagh ring

New York Times article about Claddagh rings

Recently the New York Times wrote a excellent article on the claddagh ring. 

Located in  Ireland, the Claddagh ring has evolved over time and has taken on various meanings. The iconic ring features two hands clasping a crowned heart and has served as a symbol of love, friendship, and Ireland itself.

Historically, the Claddagh ring has roots in the "fede" or fidelity rings, which depicted two hands and were commonly worn in the Mediterranean region during the Middle Ages. It's believed that these rings were introduced to Ireland by traders who brought the first versions.

The addition of the crown above the heart, which is now a distinguishing feature of the Claddagh ring, is thought to have been introduced in the late 1600s or early 1700s by Richard Joyce, a Galway goldsmith. According to James Hardiman's "History of Galway," published in 1821, Joyce had been captured by pirates in the West Indies and was sold as a slave to a Turkish jeweler, who taught him the craft of goldsmithing.

The article interviews an Irish historian and some claddagh ring makers.

The full article is available here


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