The Claddagh ring (Irish: fáinne Chladaigh) is a traditional Irish ring given as a token of love or worn as a wedding ring. The design and customs associated with it originated in the Irish fishing village of Claddagh, located just outside the city of Galway. The ring was first produced in the 17th century during the reign of Queen Mary II, though elements of the design date to the late Roman period.
The Claddagh’s distinctive design features two hands clasping a heart, and usually surmounted by a crown. The elements of this symbol are often said to correspond to the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown).
Claddagh rings may be used as friendship or relationship rings depending on the intention of wearer and, in the case of a gift, of the giver. There are three traditionally accepted ways of wearing the ring which may signal someone’s relationship status:
1. When worn on the right ring finger with the heart pointing to the fingertip, the wearer is free of any attachment.
2. On the same finger with the ring turned around, it suggests someone is romantically involved.
3. When the ring is on the left hand wedding ring finger it means the person is married or engaged.
This a picture I took when I was there: