Almost every visitor to Ireland’s ancient Christian ruins has been taken by the intricate beauty of the Celtic crosses (also known as an Irish high cross) found there. Even though this Celtic symbol is older than Christianity itself, they are now used almost exclusively by Christianity.
These magnificent crosses began to dot the Irish landscape as early as the 7th century. However, by the end of the 11th century, most of the significant Celtic crosses had been put in place. Although sometimes ravaged by the cruelties of weather, these crosses continue to exist hundreds of years later for us to enjoy and marvel. Many of the scenes carved on a typical Celtic cross depict Celtic symbols or biblical scenes.
The Celtic cross is certainly one of Ireland’s best known symbols. Even though most of the large Celtic crosses were erected almost a millennium ago, they have also been quite popular as gravestones since the 1850’s.
One piece of Irish jewelry known the world over is the Irish Claddagh ring. Even the origin of the Claddagh ring is unclear, however, the most likely account is that Richard Joyce. Born in Galway during the 17th century, Joyce sought adventure as a young man, and decided to leave Ireland in search of work overseas. While at sea, Joyce’s ship was attacked by pirates and he was taken enslaved.
Eventually, Joyce was sold to a Moorish goldsmith. He began to learn the goldsmith trade and was released from captivity only after demands from Britain that all prisoners from English colonies be immediately freed. Ireland was one of those colonies at the time.
Joyce’s freedom did not sit too well with the Moorish goldsmith who even went so far as to offer his daughter’s hand in marriage if he would stay. However Joyce had an Irish sweetheart at home and he wanted to return to her. So he left his former owner and began the journey back to Ireland. While in captivity, Joyce had designed and made the first Claddagh ring, and on his return to Ireland, he presented it to his sweetheart. They settled just outside the town of Galway in the village of Claddagh.
Each one of our beautiful Claddagh rings is handcrafted in Ireland. In addition, they are also hallmarked at Dublin Castle as a sign of their authenticity. CelticByDesign.com offers a full range of Claddgh rings in both silver and a variety of grades of gold. We also have birthstone Claddagh rings, as well as a host of other stone-set Claddagh rings. We have a Claddagh ring perfect for any occasion!
Did you know that one of the most popular pieces of Irish jewelry continues to be Irish wedding bands? That’s right – more people turn to their Irish heritage during important events in their life and their wedding is certainly no exception! At CelticByDesign.com, we offer an extensive range of Irish jewelry that naturally includes Irish wedding bands. Our stunning wedding bands are available in everything from sterling silver to 18K yellow or white gold. There are a stunning range of Irish wedding bands available to choose from. All have inscriptions on the ring that are written in the Irish language. In addition, we also have Celtic wedding bands that have a variety of Celtic symbols on them.