For more than four hundred years, the people of the West of Ireland have expressed their friendships, loyalty and love with the Claddagh ring.
Defined by its open hands cradling a heart, with a crown above it, and with different meanings depending on which finger or hand it is worn, the Claddagh ring continues to be the declaration of love and devotion for Irish people and her descendants, wherever in the world they may be.
The people of Claddagh came from a fishing village in Galway. The Claddagh community differed much in habit, manner and characteristics from the native people of Galway. They lived in thatched cottages (one hundred and sixty eight in 1812 inhabited by five hundred families) and their occupation seems to have been fishing. Amongst the peculiar customs of Claddagh was one worthy of special note.
The Claddagh Ring was an heirloom in the family intended to be transferred by mother to first married daughter who in turn gave it to her descendants. It was a particularly distinctive ring. Two hands clasped the heart above which was a crown-this feature distinguished the Claddagh from all others.