Claddagh Rings ::
rings have existed since the Roman times, having been a part of Roman or Greek
culture, or possible both. They were discovered to be worn often during
medieval times. Many fine examples of these rings can be found in the National
Museum of Ireland, along with the most famous Fede rings from Ireland, namely
rings belong to a group of rings that are called by the Italian name “Fede”,
meaning finger rings, or as some have called them, “Faith” rings. There are
several different designs of Fede rings, but the distinguishing characteristic
is two clasping hands symbolizing the pledging of love. The most common form of
Fede ring includes a heart, which is clasped by the two hands, which is a part
of the design of Claddagh rings. What sets the Claddagh ring apart from the
design of other Fede rings, though, is not only the heart center mounted on the
ring, but also the crown mounted above the heart. The Claddagh design has been
a popular Fede ring in Ireland since the 17th century.
Another unique form
of Fede ring is the Fenian Claddagh,
which has the heart and clasping hands, but lacks the crown, which is a defining
characteristic of the traditional Claddaghs. These rings were found in Dublin
over 100 years ago.
All of these rings,
whether accentuated by crowns or hearts, or with simply unadorned clasped hands,
carry wonderful symbolism. The hands alone represent trust, faith or pledged
love, and have been a part of symbolic gesture since the Roman times.