Richard Joyce was a sailor from the fishing village Claddagh in Galway. He was sailing to the plantations in the West Indies during the 17th Century, when he and his entire crew were kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery. Richard was purchased by a goldsmith who trained him to do the craft. In 1689, an amnesty was declared and all the slaves were set free.
Richard’s master was so impressed with him that he offered Richard half of his wealth and his daughter’s hand in marriage! However, Richard’s true love was waiting for him back home so he asked to be sent back to Galway to be with her.
When he returned to Galway, he found that his beloved had been faithfully waiting for him. Without the goldsmith knowing, Richard had stolen tiny pieces of gold from the workshop every day. With that he fashioned a ring. The design featured a heart that symbolized Richard’s love for her, a crown that was a sign of his unending loyalty to her, and hands that symbolized friendship which of course, is the foundation of love. He gave the ring to his sweetie and they were married.
In Irish tradition, there are 4 different ways to wear the Claddagh ring, depending on your relationship status.
Single: wear the ring on your RIGHT hand with the heart pointing OUT AWAY from the body
“your heart is open”
In a relationship: wear the ring on your RIGHT hand with the heart pointing IN TOWARDS the body
“someone has captured your heart”
Engaged: wear the ring on your LEFT hand with the heart pointing OUT
Married: wear the ring on your LEFT hand with the heart pointing IN
“let love and friendship reign forever, never to be separated”
Now the hands, heart and crown are brought to you as a plaque. Use the Celtic Claddagh Ring Plaque as an Engagement, Wedding or Anniversary remembrance. The Claddagh Plaque is a gift that will have a special meaning for life.