There are few things that can cement a relationship as a gesture of good faith. For most couples that starts with a pair of rings to represent the new relationship, especially if those rings are of the same type. For some people merely making a change in the way that they wear something shows that something has changed, even if that something is as simple as how a ring is worn. A silver claddagh ring is one of the heralds of change, a simple band of silver that demonstrates affection at least, a faithful and loving marriage at most.
There are a number of different stories to explain the origins of the simple rings, a crown on a heart surrounded by a pair of clasped hands. Although they are known to have started in Galway, Ireland, and to have spread out from there, the official history of the rings does not really start until around 1840. The tradition of the rings was picked up and spread throughout England during the Victorian era, and from there it was just a matter of time until they spread throughout the world. The rings have always represented love and fidelity; now they do so throughout the world.
There a number of different claddagh designs, all of which start with the basic design. A gem may be added as part of the heart or crown, but usually they are left unadorned. Most of the variations combine the basic design with interlaced Irish design, such as the Irish compass rose, but these designs are an expression of Irish identity. There are some other designs but they tend to small variations on the design, usually with a thinner or thicker band, the hands more integrated into the design, or even allowing for small gems throughout the design. All of these designs still hold true to the simple design of a heart, a crown, and two clasping hands. The best claddagh rings can be found online at Irish Blessings.
How the ring is worn and on which hand defines what the ring says. If the silver claddagh ring is worn on the right hand the person, usually a young woman, is single; with the point of the heart towards the fingertips, she is single but looking for a relationship, but if the heart is pointing towards the heart she has found someone. If it is worn on the left hand, the relationship has gotten serious; a heart pointing out means the wearer is engaged while the heart pointing in means that the person is married. Paying attention to the ring can help prevent a lot of misunderstanding.
Interestingly, the ring’s service to couple is not the only one. The ring is usually given to a girl by an older female relative, such as the grandmother or mother, when the younger woman comes of age. However, the rings are still usually sold in pairs for couples, and have seen some service as engagement rings. The rings are important in showing how people feel about others; a silver claddagh ring will always help demonstrate a person’s relationship, and in a very visible way if you know where to look.