It doesn’t have to be a diamond to be romantic. Gifting jewelry as a token of love and commitment has been tradition for centuries in cultures all over the world. One of the most popular romantic jewelry items we get asked about here at Dragonspace is the Claddagh ring, so we thought we’d share the history of this famous love ring, and a few other pieces of romantic jewelry from our glittering cases!
Are you familiar with the above image? This symbolic ring—featuring a heart held by two hands and topped with a crown—is known as a 'Claddagh' ring and is a popular Irish icon.
Claddagh rings have been around since the 17th-century, and are said to have originated in the Irish village of Galway. The symbols on the ring represent love (the heart), friendship (the hands) and loyalty (the crown). So it's no surprise that Claddagh rings are popularly used as engagement, wedding and commitment rings.
What you might not know is that the way you wear the Claddagh ring is important. Many people believe that the positioning of a Claddagh ring is a statement of the wearer’s relationship status, as follows:
- Right hand, point of the heart facing away from the wearer: you’re single and looking
- Right hand, point of the heart facing towards the wearer: you’re in a relationship
- Left ring finger, point of the heart facing away from the wearer: you’re engaged
- Left ring finger, point of the heart facing toward the wearer: you’re married
While Claddagh rings are popular among Irish people and those of Irish descent, anyone can wear them! They might also be given as a gift of friendship, or even love among family members. The Claddagh symbol can also feature on other types of jewelry, such as earrings and bracelets.
Claddagh rings are certainly a popular piece of romantic jewelry, but they’re not the only kind. If you’re in the market for a symbolic trinket to gift your partner—or even pop the question!—we’ve got a few different options:
Celtic knots are a well-known type of Celtic artwork. These intricate knots feature in art, architecture and fashion all over the world, and are heavy in symbolism. Celtic knots signify the interconnectedness of the world and as many of the knots are ‘infinite’ or ‘endless’, they can be strong symbols of eternity. Therefore, gifting your partner with a piece of jewelry featuring a Celtic knot is a powerful way to declare your spiritual connection, and to make a promise of forever.
There’s also a special selection of Celtic knots that are ‘threefold’—such as the triskele and the triquetra—that symbolise the ‘threefold’ nature of our world. For Christians, this represents the Holy Trinity of God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit. But for Pagans, this indicated the three stages of womanhood: the maiden, the mother and the crone. Trinity knots are also popular wedding ring symbols as they’re a bold statement of being loyal to your partner through all stages of life.
Elven Love Rings
Most people are familiar with the famous ‘One Ring’ from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. But while that ring has a fairly ominous story behind it, there’s a more romantic version! This Elven Love Ring is inspired by the unique Elvish language that Tolkien himself famously created. Stamped upon the ring in Elvish is the inscription, ‘One ring to seal our love and forever to entwine us’, both on the inside and outside of the ring. What a perfect gift for the Middle-earth romantic!
Dragons and Fairies
In our modern times, many people are rejecting the traditional notions of ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ identities. A better non-gender specific way of describing different energies is that of ‘moon’ and ‘sun’ energies, or ‘dragon’ and ‘fairy’ energies. Dragon energies tend to be fierce, zealous and assertive. While fairy energies tend to be delicate, intuitive and sensitive.
If you’re not one for tradition, you might like to wear a matching dragon and fairy ring pairing with your partner. You’ll be the dragon to their fairy, and vice versa! This is a unique way of declaring your love for each other that’s far from traditional.
As you can see, there a few creative ways you can express your love to your partner, friend or family member in jewelry form. You might be guided by your cultural heritage or your spiritual interests—either way, your declaration of love can be just as unique as your bond is! Let us know in the comments what your favourite piece of romantic jewelry is, or what you’ve been inspired by.