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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Irish Girls and their Claddagh Rings

A love story and a romantic gift for your Valentines Day enjoyment.  This is a story that I wrote as part of the Family History Writing Challenge.

I have a Claddagh Ring, one that I will cherish forever.  For those of you who may not know what a Claddagh Ring is there are plenty of resources online to check out and read about the history and meaning of this simple piece of metal.  There are traditions that go along with the wearing of the ring as well, which can give you information about the romantic availability of the wearer.

The one I have is my original engagement ring and the only Claddagh Ring my husband has ever liked.  For a man of his heritage this may be an inconceivable idea, but it is true nonetheless.  He, however, knew that I wanted one, loved them, and thought them beautiful.  It seems that the stars aligned on Tuesday 20 May 1997 while we were shopping in Holyhead, Wales (and I know this because I kept a trip journal).  We had a few hours to burn before we caught the ferry from Holyhead to Dublin and spent it meandering the streets of the town. 

At this point in time my husband and I had been dating for just over 4 years.  We would not get married for another 2, but that is another story.  He and I had lost track of my parents in the street and were doing a bit of window shopping.  While on our trip through Europe we had one credit card between us that would work because at that time they did not take discover cards.  Which lead us, the poor college students, being even more frugal in our spending and souvenir shopping as we made our way around.

That is when I saw a small local jewelry store and veered off to go in.  There in the case was an entire selection of Claddagh Rings.  You see I was on a mission from a good friend, and future bridesmaid, to find her a silver one to bring home.  As I was perusing the selection to see if there was anything in her price range I saw it: a beautiful gold ring with a dark red faceted stone for the heart.  It was the most beautiful Claddagh Ring I had ever seen.  Even more amazing, he liked it to.  The only one he had ever seen that he actually liked.

He heard my breath catch, had me try it on, looked at it some more, but we eventually left it where we found it.  Little did I know he was trying to figure out a way in his head to find my parents, ditch me with my mom, and take my dad back to the store to buy it without me finding out.  I had the working credit card remember, which was a wrench in the whole plan, and it was killing him.  Half an hour goes by and he has still not successfully completed the task he set himself. 

We had to walk back past the store to get to our truck to drive to the ferry when my darling threw all caution to the wind and asked me if I wanted to get the ring.  YES!  I was giddy, jumping with joy, and couldn’t believe it.  I wore it out of the store and every day until two years ago when I needed to put it away for safe keeping.  When we decided to get married the next year I didn’t need an engagement ring, I already had it. There was no need in purchasing another ring to signify something we knew in our hearts to be true since the day we meet. So we got an engagement truck, which is an even longer story, for another time.

Today my ring sits in a ring box waiting to be passed down. The stone is nearly smooth and the band is almost completely worn through.  It is a testament to the loving relationship we have and I hope will be treasured and loved by our future generations.


  1. Great story for valentines day. I now have leaned about Claddagh rings. It is a beautiful ring.


    1. Thank you! I love the story that goes with them and the meaning of each part of the ring. They are a tradition that I am happy to be a part of.

  2. Really enjoyed this post. Thanks for including the photo of the ring. Wonderful heirloom!

    1. Thank you! I didn't think the post would be complete without showing everyone what I was talking about. It is such a small and unassuming thing, but means the world to me.

  3. Thanks a lot for giving us a nice story of valentine.

    Nice concept of the Irish Claddagh Ring...!!!

    Thanks for sharing with us and eagerly waiting for the next post...!!!