Legend has it that the Claddagh symbol was originated by Richard Joyce, a Galway seafarer kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery in North Africa where he learned the art of a goldsmith. When he was released, nothing could keep him from his beloved Galway where he returned to become a master goldsmith and where he created the Claddagh ring. For centuries this was used as a wedding ring by the fisher folk of Claddagh village, which nestled outside the walls of Galway city in the west of Ireland.
Claddagh rings are worn as friendship, engagement or wedding rings depending on how they are worn. Friendship: by placing the ring anywhere on your right hand. Engagement: by placing the ring on the third finger of your left hand with the heart pointing outwards. Wedding: by placing the ring on the third finger of your left hand with the heart pointing inwards towards your heart.
This narrow gold band is decorated with a Claddagh design around the center of the band. It is a court shaped or domed ring and is also “comfort fit”. Comfort fit means the inside of the ring has been slightly domed which is thought to put less pressure on the finger and, as the name suggests, is more comfortable for the wearer.