Meaning of the Claddagh Symbol & ring

If you don’t know yet, you’re about to find out that the meaning of the Claddagh symbol consit of a heart, two clasped hands, and a crown. 

It is one of the most popular Irish symbols that plays a dynamic role in Irish tradition. Each part of the symbol has its meaning that has a long history behind it and is part of the deep Irish culture. 

The meaning behind the Claddagh symbol is usually positive, which is why Irish people have widely used it since the 17th century. 

This is one of the first traditional Irish rings to exist in history, one of the elements that make the Claddagh symbol so profound. 

Let’s delve deeper and look at the meaning of the Claddagh symbol and the origin of the Claddagh ring. 

Meaning of the Claddagh Symbol & ring

Meaning of the Claddagh Symbol

The Claddagh symbol has been around since the 17th century. It is a promise ring that is a symbol of love and loyalty. 

As we have established, the traditional Irish ring can be divided into three parts: the heart, two clasped hands, and a crown. 

What does each of these parts represent? Well, the heart symbolizes the concept of love, and the crown symbolizes loyalty. 

On the other hand, the two clasped hands are a sign of friendship. The Claddagh symbol, also known as the Claddagh ring, has been used to symbolize marriage since Roman times. 

That’s why it’s often worn on the left finger as engagement rings or promise rings. 

The Claddagh engagement ring, and the first Claddagh ring, comes from a folklore tale of a man from Galway city, Claddagh, who was sold into slavery. 

During his time as a slave, he often wondered about his relationship status and what it could have been if he had not been captured. 

After some time passed, he created a ring from gold stolen from his master. This was the first Claddagh ring that ever existed. 

While in captivity, he wondered whether the woman he loved would wait for him or move on to someone else. 

When he was finally set free, he returned to Claddagh, and, much to his surprise, the woman he loved had been waiting for him all this time. 

She was loyal and did not seek comfort from any other man. The couple’s love defied the odds. This is where the meaning of the Claddagh symbol comes from. 

It represents love and loyalty, which the couple in the story shared.

Related: Meaning of the hamsa hand symbol

Claddagh Spiritual Meaning

Now that we know the meaning of the Claddagh symbol in general terms let’s look at its meaning in spiritual terms. 

When you look at the Claddagh symbol through spiritual eyes, it is not as romantic as in other interpretations of the symbol. 

As we have established, the origins of the ring may have been romantic, but the principle of the story goes much deeper than romantic love. 

Let’s take a look at the different components of the Claddagh symbol. First, we have the heart. The heart is popularly known to resemble love. 

This could be any kind of love. It could be romantic love if you want it to be. You could even give a Claddagh ring to someone as a token of your friendship. 

However, spirituality usually refers to loving yourself. It is essential to love yourself before you can expect others to love you. 

The heart in the Claddagh symbol represents finding the inner strength to love yourself so that you can love the people around you and spread love to the world if you look at it from a spiritual sense. 

The next element is the pair of hands. This element can be interpreted in a few different ways. Since they are clasping hands, some people see them as a sign of unity. 

Let’s look at this from a spiritual perspective. Unity could mean being united with your twin female. 

However, it could also refer to synchronicity and being united with the universe. Human beings are all united and considered to be brothers and sisters according to spirituality. 

So, unity can be achieved in a few different ways. Another interpretation of the clasping hands is promises that need to be kept. 

This is usually quite significant with Claddagh wedding rings since wedding vows are promises that need to be kept. 

However, in spirituality, these promises could be promises you have made to yourself, others, or the universe. 

In general, the universe frowns upon broken promises. It is known to bring about bad luck or bad karma. 

So, the clasping hands serve as a reminder to keep your promises. Lastly, some believe that the clasping hands represent good deeds. 

Since we give with our hands, the hands signify generously giving time or money to those in need. The third element to consider is the crown. 

The crown in the Claddagh symbol represents loyalty. In the story we discussed, the young lady was loyal to her true love. 

Loyalty is equally essential in spirituality. We must show that we are loyal at heart if we wish to receive blessings from the universe. 

What does it mean to have a heart clasped inside of the hands in the Claddagh symbol? This usually means that you are offering your heart up to someone and making yourself vulnerable to this person. 

In spirituality, it is important to let down our defenses and allow ourselves to become vulnerable at times for the universe to teach us lessons. This also helps us to stay humble and avoid becoming egotistical.

Meaning of the Claddagh Ring 

The meaning of the Claddagh symbol and the meaning of the Claddagh ring is quite similar. However, the meaning behind the Claddagh ring is slightly more specific. 

Claddagh rings are similar to fede rings in that both rings have clasping hands with a heart in the middle. The Claddagh ring is a traditional Irish ring with an Irish heritage. 

It was first made by a man from county Galway, and it soon became an important part of Irish tradition. 

The heart in the ring represents love, the crown represents loyalty, and the hands represent friendship. 

In general, the Claddagh ring symbolizes strong and loyal relationships. This could be platonic relationships such as friendships or romantic relationships such as marriages. 

You can give a ring to someone as a token of your friendship, or you can use it when you ask your future father-in-law for his daughter’s hand in marriage. 

Some Irish people used an enlarged version of the Claddagh ring as a wedding band due to its significant meaning in marriages. 

The modern form of the Claddagh ring can be credited to Richard Joyce from the city of Galway, who forged one of the oldest known versions of the ring centuries ago. 

A museum has since been named after the Joyce family for Richard’s great work.

How to Wear the Claddagh Ring?

We have already established the meaning of the Claddagh symbol. However, the way in which you wear it has a lot to do with the meaning behind the ring. 

This is quite similar to the Hamsa hand. 

If you wear the Hamsa hand facing downward, it means you are opening yourself up to positivity, but if you wear it facing upwards, it means that you are protecting yourself from the evil eye. 

The way in which you wear jewelry can change the meaning behind it. Let’s take a look at how to wear the Claddagh ring.

1: Single People

If you are not currently in a relationship, you should wear the Callaghan ring on your right hand. The ring should also face outward from your body. 

If you wear it on your left hand, you may imply that you are married or getting married.

2: People Who Are In a Relationship

If you are in a relationship but not married, you should still wear the Claddagh ring on your right hand. However, this time the point of the heart should face inward. 

If it faces outward, you will be implying that you are single.

3: People Who Are Engaged

If you are currently engaged to your true love, it is a wise idea to wear a Claddagh ring on your left hand. 

You should wear it on your ring finger, and the point of the heart should be facing outward instead of inward.

4: People Who Are Married

If you are married to your true love, you should wear the Claddagh ring on your left hand. The ring should be on your ring finger, and the point of the heart should be facing inwards.

What is the Claddagh Ring Curse?

According to Irish superstition, buying a Claddagh ring for yourself is bad luck. 

It needs to be bought for you by someone else. If you buy it for yourself, misfortune and bad luck will follow you in your general life and love life.


The meaning of the Claddagh symbol is profound. It is an important part of Irish tradition and resembles love, loyalty, and friendship. 

A young man made the Claddagh ring design from native Galway, hoping his true love would stay loyal and wait for him. 

Once he was released from slavery and discovered that his wishes came true, the Claddagh ring gained the deep meaning it has today.