History of the Claddagh
The Claddagh (or Cladach, meaning 'the shore') features a crowned heart held by two hands - the heart represents love, the hands represent friendship, while the crown stands for loyalty. As far back as medieval times, engagement rings had been inscribed with clasped hands to signify one's fidelity, while the heart and crown were eventually added in the 18th century.
The Claddagh is named for the former fishing village that's now part of Galway city in the West of Ireland, where iconic Claddagh rings have since been produced for hundreds of years. Legend has it that in 1695, a local teenage silversmith called Richard Joyce became enslaved by Algerian pirates, and invented the Claddagh ring while in captivity.
Whatever the true origin, the Claddagh has since exploded in popularity among those desiring to celebrate their Irish heritage, appearing on many forms of jewelry and art from weddings rings to casual gifts of friendship.
About the Maker
For over 35 years, ShanOre have been keeping Celtic history alive by allowing wearers to celebrate their Irish heritage. Taking inspiration from ancient Celtic design while adding their own contemporary flourishes of Irish culture, the family-owned jewelers have won dozens of awards, including the NACTA Jewelry Supplier of the Year.