With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you may be looking for the perfect gift for that special someone. If you’re looking for something that is quintessentially Irish then you won’t go far wrong with one of our stunning range of Claddagh jewelry gifts here at The Irish Store. But before we get to my top picks, let’s remind ourselves first of all of the hopelessly romantic story of the Claddagh Ring.
The Story of The Claddagh Ring
Claddagh, from the Irish Cladach meaning “the shore”, is situated in Galway city where the River Corrib and Galway Bay meet. It was formerly a thriving fishing village located just outside the old city walls. It’s origins date back to the 5th century.
There are many tales associated with the origins of the Claddagh ring. This is Ireland after all! But the most widely reported story concerns a certain Richard Joyce.
According to Irish legend, Richard Joyce, a native of Galway, was captured and sold to slavery in Algiers where he was taught his craft by a Moorish goldsmith. William III, the then king, sent an ambassador to Algiers who arranged the release of all British prisoners. Richard Joyce was one of those prisoners. He was finally released after 14 years and returned to his home place where his sweetheart awaited him. While in captivity, he had made what we now know as the Claddagh Ring especially for her. The heart symbolized love, the hand’s friendship and the crown loyalty.
St.Valentine-The Irish Connection
The Carmelite Church on Whitefriar Street in Dublin city dates back to the early 1800s. It is a true hidden gem in Ireland’s capital and houses many shrines including one to the patron saint of love, St.Valentine.
So why a shrine to St.Valentine in a Dublin Church? Because here lie the remains of the saint! Pope Gregory XVI gave the gift of the remains to the church in 1836 following a visit to Rome by the Carmelite priest, Father John Spratt. Every February 14, engaged couples attend a mass there which also includes a blessing of rings.
Lulus Top Claddagh Jewelry Gifts
1. Connemara Marble Claddagh Ring
We have to start with a classic Claddagh ring and this one is a true show-stopper. The hands and crown are exquisitely crafted from sterling silver and hallmarked at Dublin Castle. Ireland’s ancient gemstone forms the heart. This 900 million-year-old marble is unique not only to Ireland but specifically to the ruggedly beautiful Connemara region in County Galway.
The age-old Claddagh design gets a decidedly contemporary makeover in this stunning Claddagh jewellery set. I just love this stunning Claddagh pendant with matching earrings and would be thrilled if I received it for Valentine’s Day! (maybe I’ll drop some hints!). Apart from the beautifully crafted hands and heart, the set also features dainty shamrocks as well as delicate rose gold accents.
3. Claddagh Cufflinks
We mustn’t forget about the guys! There’s nothing like a beautiful pair of Claddagh cufflinks to add a stylish finishing touch to a classic formal look. Beautifully crafted from sterling silver in County Wicklow. Give him the gift from Ireland this Valentine’s Day to be treasured for a lifetime.
4. Mullingar Pewter Claddagh Jewelry Box
If she has all the Celtic Jewelry she needs then why not give her the gift of this stunning Claddagh jewelry box. The look is decidedly antique and it has been exquisitely crafted by the experts at Mullingar Pewter. Pewter craft in Ireland dates back to Viking times and at their workshop in County Westmeath, Mullingar continues this age-old tradition. The central Claddagh design on the lid is beautifully complemented with stunning Celtic knotwork.
5. House of Lor Claddagh Earrings
Here, the traditional Claddagh design gets another contemporary makeover. These stunning Claddagh earrings come from House of Lor. All of their gorgeous collections feature genuine Irish gold. The gold comes from Ireland’s only surviving goldmine at Cavanacaw in County Tyrone. A stunning Irish Valentine’s gift to add to her Claddagh jewelry collection.
So here’s the good news. There’s still time to order in time for February 14th! Best of all we’re having a massive clearance sale for a limited time so it’s the perfect time to shop!
See you next time,
Slán go fóill!