How to Wear a Claddagh Ring
When couples sit down to figure out how to choose a wedding band, their main goal is to find something that represents themselves as individuals and as a couple. With so many options out there, many couples struggle to find the perfect set of rings for them.
There are many rings that have cultural meanings. For couples who have an Irish heritage, matching silicone wedding rings donning the traditional symbol could be the way to go! These rings aren’t just for couples who share Irish descent, though. Each piece of the Claddagh ring represents something different:
The Hands: Friendship
The Heart: Love
The Crown: Loyalty
These pieces are highly representative of marriage. Not only should you be friends with your spouse, but you should also love them unconditionally and give them unwavering loyalty. Together, these three pieces make a marriage!
The history and Claddagh ring meaning start around the 16th century, when a fisherman was taken into slavery, learned the skill of jewelry-making, and escaped back home to Ireland. He gave the love of his life a ring in the shape of the modern-day Claddagh ring, and, ever since, it’s been used by women across the west coast of Ireland and beyond to signify love, patience, and endurance.
Source: Naumova Ekaterina/Shutterstock.com
However, there are different ways you should wear a Claddagh ring. The way an individual wears the ring signifies different relationship statuses!
If you’re single: Wear the Claddagh ring on your right hand—no specified finger—with the heart facing outward from your body. The crown will face toward you.
If you’re in a relationship: Still wear the ring on your right hand, but flip it around. The heart should now face inward, toward your body.
If you’re engaged: Transfer the ring to your left hand. Wear it on your ring finger, but face the heart outward, away from your body.
If you’re married: Keep the ring on the ring finger of your left hand. Flip the ring around so the heart faces inward, toward your body.
These shifts in location and direction are how you tell others what relationship status you have! It’s as much for others as it is for you—your Claddagh ring location reminds you of your commitment to another person in a simple and subtle way.
Can Men Wear Claddagh Rings?
While traditionally women have worn Claddagh rings, and the rings are usually passed down from mother to daughter, more and more men have been wearing Claddagh rings. Men shouldn’t be excluded from the symbolism and unique story of the Claddagh ring! Its representation is a great way for men to show their love and commitment. We’ve created silicone rings for men and women to help couples find a matching set of bands that will let them show off their dedication to each other! Since our matching Claddagh ring sets are limited edition, you can sign up for our email list to be notified when it’s available next year (hint hint!).
Does It Matter on Which Finger I Wear My Claddagh Ring?
That’s a great question! Many people choose to wear their Claddagh ring on their ring finger. Historically, many people believed there was a vein that ran from your ringer finger to your heart, so wearing a ring on your fourth finger symbolizes love.
However, plenty of cultures wear their rings on another hand or finger. Ultimately, which finger you choose to wear your Claddagh ring on is entirely up to you! We recommend you wear it on a finger that doesn’t already have a ring on it. You’ll also want to consider which is your dominant hand—you might want to wear it on the opposite one to keep the ring from wearing down faster.
Source: Hayley K Stuart/Shutterstock.com
Can I Wear My Claddagh Ring with Another Ring?
Sure! The only rule of thumb when it comes to Claddagh ring etiquette, besides the direction of your ring, is you shouldn’t get yourself a Claddagh ring. In fact, it’s considered bad luck to get yourself a ring! Instead, it should be given to you as a gift or a symbol of love. So, put it on your Christmas list or send your boyfriend some pictures you found on Pinterest as hints!
A unique way to wear your Claddagh ring is to combine it with a diamond solitaire or another simple band. How you choose to wear your rings is totally up to you! What’s important is you and your spouse wear wedding rings that represent your commitment to each other and your relationship—Claddagh rings certainly symbolize that, but you should always go with a ring set you feel best represents the two of you.