The Irish Claddagh ring may be one of the world’s more popular jewelry styles. With its romantic symbolism and unique design, it’s hard to not want to add one to your collection. However, it’s important to know the meaning behind the ring and how it got so popular. Because as with every cultural heirloom, there are many myths and legends surrounding it.
One of the main legends comes from a classic love story between a 17th-century sailor named Richard Joyce and his beloved. Joyce’s crew got kidnapped at sea, sold into slavery, and trained by a goldsmith. When he was finally released, he found that his love was still waiting for him, and he fashioned her the ring as a token of his affection.
While these rings celebrate Irish traditions, their beautiful, timeless design looks fabulous in the modern age, and even celebrities (including Kim Kardashian West) are said to have their own. Below, we’ve further broken down the meaning of its design and how to rightfully wear it.