The Talon explores the tradition behind the ancient Irish ring that CB students have been rocking in the hallways. The unique Claddagh ring — with its hands, heart and crown — has become a distinctive fashion accessory. From celebrities who have worn it like Walt Disney and Jennifer Aniston, to royalty like Princess Grace, this […]
The Talon explores the tradition behind the ancient Irish ring that CB students have been rocking in the hallways.
The unique Claddagh ring — with its hands, heart and crown — has become a distinctive fashion accessory. From celebrities who have worn it like Walt Disney and Jennifer Aniston, to royalty like Princess Grace, this timeless ring has begun to make its fashion debut in the halls of CB.
But the Claddagh is more than just an accessory — it is a centuries-old tradition passed down since 17th century Ireland.
Legend has it that the ring was first forged by a Galway native named Richard Joyce, who was captured by pirates and sold into slavery to a Moorish goldsmith who taught him everything he needed to know about making jewelry.
After his fourteen years as a slave, Joyce was released back to Ireland and brought with him the ring he’d spent years crafting as a gift for his childhood sweetheart — the Claddagh.
It isn’t just the myth-like history that shrouds the Claddagh that makes it special; every element of the ring is steeped in meaning. The heart in the center represents love, the hands holding it represent friendship, and the crown adorning the heart represents loyalty. Wearing the Claddagh serves as a reminder to hold those values close.
For some CB students, the Claddagh is a representation of their heritage.
“I wear the ring because I’m Irish,” explains senior Claire Jones-Ruman (’15), “and I think they’re pretty cool — they look awesome.”
For Claire, the ring was also an unexpected way to form new friendships.
“When I was a freshman, I had a class with Emma O’Malley (’15) and she was wearing one too,” jokes the senior as she leaned back in her chair.
“We started talking about it, and I sent her a message on Facebook later saying ‘Hey, I’m the girl with the Claddagh ring! You should meet me by my locker for lunch tomorrow.'”
Although it is steeped in tradition, the Claddagh ring isn’t exclusively for those with Irish heritage. Erika Jimenez (’15) wears her ring with pride.
She tells the story of how she came across the ring in Mexico.
“We went looking from shop to shop and in one of them we found my Claddagh ring,” she says. “I just thought it was pretty at first, but then when I learned the significance behind it it became even more special and I’ve worn it ever since.”
Carly Mayer (’15) has wanted a Claddagh ring of her own for a long time. When asked why she wants one, Carly responded that “they’re pretty nifty.”
“I think that the tradition is really sweet,” continues Carly. “It’d be sick to have one.”
So whether or not you’ve worn yours with pride for years or still don’t even know how Claddagh is pronounced, never be afraid to show off your roots, wherever they may be.