Wedding Ring

An article that expresses meanings and traditions that can be embraced when the rings are exchanged.

Penelope Truce
Penelope Truce
Mar 22, 2011
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There are many symbolic meanings that are associated with the exchanging of wedding rings through a wedding ceremony. Some select to express their love and vow in terms of the ring being rounded. With the circular shape of the wedding band they express their love as having no start and no end.

Others, during the wedding ceremony, choose to focus on the preciousness and fortitude of the metal used to construct the ring. During the wedding vows they draw on that preciousness and connect their marriage and partner to the metal of their wedding rings and that their love will go on through time.

There are many traditions and meanings that can be embraced when the rings are exchanged. Other such traditions that can be reflected are those symbolic meanings that are conveyed from other countries. One such country is Ireland and the meanings held through the exchange of Claddagh Irish wedding rings.


The romantic tradition of the Claddagh Irish wedding ring dates back to the turn of the 17th century. Legend has it that a goldsmith by the name of Richard Joyce worked in a village by the name of Galway in Ireland and was in love with a young lady in the village. They were engaged to be married. This young goldsmith’s profession and business required travel to far off lands and away from his beloved.

Apparently, while traveling to the West Indies, Joyce was taken into captivity by the Moors. Subsequently, he was sold to an Algerian goldsmith where he was able to practice his goldsmith trade. Eventually, through diplomatic channels, Joyce’s release from slavery was obtained. However, the Algerian goldsmith realized the unique goldsmith talents that Joyce demonstrated and offered his daughter in marriage and a considerable dowry if he would stay and work with his former owner.

True to the power of love and commitment, Richard Joyce declined the offer and sailed back to Galway to his betrothed. To complete the happy ending Joyce married his fiancé who, during all this time, had been waiting for his return.

On their wedding day, the ring that he had crafted, while separated from his love, was part of the wedding ceremony. That ring was the original Claddagh Irish wedding ring. Claddagh was at one time a small fishing village that was situated just beyond the parameters of Galway.


The Claddagh Irish wedding ring is rich in symbolism. A Claddagh Irish wedding ring is a band of precious metal that contains a single heart that provides the bridge between two hands. Over the heart lies a crown. In addition the Claddagh Irish wedding ring features interwoven strands that touch the distal ends of the hand and encircle the entire band.

The symbolism of the interwoven strands represents the interconnected lives of the couple. The hands that are joined together represent their relationship. The heart that is the center of the Claddagh Irish wedding ring represents the love that is shared by two and the crown symbolizes timelessness.

Keywords: traditions , history, Claddagh, wedding ring, Richard Joyce, Irish , relationship, bond, joy, commitment, love, everlasting, dreams, preciousness , gold, silver, jewelery, ceremony,

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