The Irish claddagh, dating back to 16th-century County Galway, is a pair of clasped hands holding a crowned heart that symbolizes love, friendship, and loyalty. Here the claddagh is stamped into a sterling silver circle, symbolic of everlasting life, and paired with beautifully faceted kelly green Swarovski crystal briolettes. The sentiment is at once universal and uniquely Irish. The necklace also features the words ''love,'' ''friendship,'' and ''loyalty.'' Made in Ireland.
Earrings: Approximately 1 1/2''L.
One of the most popular symbols of Ireland and Irish culture is the claddagh, two hands clasping a crowned heart. The motif is often found on wedding rings and symbolizes love, friendship, and loyalty. Legends about the claddagh's origins abound, from its being given by an eagle to a charitable 16th century lady in Galway to its being designed by 17th-century Galway native Richard Joyce while he was enslaved by a goldsmith in Algiers. When he was finally freed and able to return home, he gave the ring to his fiancée who had awaited his return.
According to authors Colin Murphy and Donal O'Dea:
"The way that a claddagh ring is worn on the hand is usually intended to convey the wearer's romantic availability, or lack thereof. Traditionally, if the ring is on the right hand with the heart facing outward and away from the body, this indicates that the person wearing the ring is not in any serious relationship, and may in fact be single and looking for a relationship: "their heart is open." When worn on the right hand but with the heart facing inward toward the body, this indicates the person wearing the ring is in a relationship, although not yet married. A claddagh worn on the left hand ring finger, facing outward away from the body, generally indicates that the wearer is engaged. When the ring is on the left hand ring finger and facing inward toward the body, it generally means that the person wearing the ring is married."