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The Claddagh Ring : The Story

The Claddagh Story

Misty fables surrounds one of Ireland's unique treasures, "The Claddagh" a symbol of Love, Friendship and loyalty.

Some 400 years ago in a fishing village called Claddagh overlooking Galway Bay, close to the city of the Tribes, lived Richard Joyce a Master Goldsmith. It was he who crafted this now famous design that has become part of the Irish heritage.

There are many versions but this is the story I love most as recounte by Leigh O'Meachair

Some 400 years ago in a fishing village called Claddagh overlooking Galway Bay, close to the city of the Tribes, lived Richard Joyce a Master Goldsmith. It was he who crafted this now famous design that has become part of the Irish heritage.

The first Claddagh Ring was the creation of Richard Joyce, an Irish fisherman who lived during the seventeenth century. He sailed the high seas all over the world, and he was working near Montserrat when his ship was boarded by pirates and raided. Joyce was kidnapped, and taken to a Moorish goldsmith in Algiers, where he was forced to work in slavery.

Joyce was soon a highly skilled goldsmith, able to craft delicate objects of beauty out of the precious metal. His skills in the shop were highly prized by his master. Joyce longed for his native Ireland, and spent years pining for the woman he left behind in the city of Galway. Her name was Margaret, and she was his one true love.

When King William III denounced slavery in the West Indies and ordered all citizens of the British Crown being held released, Joyce gained his freedom. The goldsmith did not wish to lose the master metal working skills of his Irish servant, and it is believed that he enticed Joyce to stay, with riches, and even with the offer of his own daughter's hand in marriage. But Joyce could not be swayed. He blessed King William for granting him his freedom, and he soon sailed for Ireland,

with a very special piece of jewelry in his pocket.

While Joyce had worked in the shop, he had found a way to illustrate his love for Margaret, without saying a word. He had fashioned a special ring, which featured two tiny hands, gently holding onto a crowned heart, as a symbol of his undying love and loyalty.

When Joyce returned to Galway, he was thrilled to find his love waiting for him. She had never given up hope, just as he had remained steadfast in his ardor. He presented her with the golden ring he made in her honour, now known as the Royal Claddagh Ring, and they were together forever after. Never again would misfortune part Richard Joyce from the one he loved.

Hereby I attach some cool links for further information on this subject:

The Story of the Claddagh Ring

History of the Claddag Ring

Claddagh rings, Claddagh Jewelry, & Irish Wedding Bands


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