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!