Greetings from Ireland all! I hope I find you all well and that 2019 is being good to you so far. So last week we looked at the Tree of Life and its significance in Celtic culture as well as its huge popularity in Celtic jewelry design. I then come across an old “Ultimate Guide to Irish Jewelry” blog from a few years ago. Since we get so many comments and enquiries about this very subject, I decided it was time for a refresh! So whether you’re a lover of the Claddagh, the Trinity Knot or the Celtic Cross-read on to find out all you need to know about your favorite Irish Celtic symbols! It also gives me an excuse to show off my favorite pieces from The Irish Store!
Firstly, it’s everyone’s favorite Claddagh. The Claddagh is almost certainly the most popular symbol in Irish jewelry. The story of the Claddagh dates back some 300 years to the fishing village in county Galway of the same name.
Legend has it that Richard Joyce, a native of Galway, was captured and sold to slavery in Algiers. While there, he was taught his craft by a Moorish goldsmith. William III, the then king, sent an ambassador to Algiers. The ambassador 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 symbolizes love, the hand’s friendship and the crown loyalty.
Our best selling Claddagh ring (pictured above) is exquisitely detailed in sterling silver. It features a heart of Connemara Marble, Ireland’s unique and ancient gemstone. And don’t forget to wear your Claddagh ring correctly! Towards your heart if your attached. Away from your heart if you’re single!
2. The Trinity Knot
So next up it’s the ever popular Celtic Trinity Knot. The Celtic trinity knot dates back to the 5th century. It was used extensively by ancient monks in illuminated manuscripts such as the Book of Kells and the Book of Durrow. It is symbolic of many things that are threefold and has long been considered a symbol of eternity.
Our Trinity Knot Half Pearl Jewelry Set (pictured above) features this classic Celtic knot design coupled with elegant freshwater half pearls. Beautifully crafted from sterling silver. Hallmarked at Dublin Castle.
3. Tree of Life
The ancient Tree of Life symbol is found in many ancient cultures the world over, due to its universal message. The branches reach for the sky while the roots reach down into the ground. A representation of the link between heaven and earth. It is also considered to be a symbol of the never-ending cycle of life. My favourite Tree of life pendant (pictured above) is handcrafted in Dublin with a single green stone at its centre.
4. Celtic Cross
So many stories and myths surround the origins of the Celtic cross design. My favourite story centres around St Patrick. On seeing a pagan standing stone imprinted with a circle which represented the moon goddess, he blessed the stone with a Latin cross. As a result, the first Celtic cross came into being.
The ancient Irish symbol of faith and worship is recreated in glorious detail in this stunning pendant. Carvings of 900 million year old Connemara Marble, Ireland’s ancient gemstone provide the arms of the cross. A single marcasite stone at the center gives an eye-catching finishing touch.
5. Celtic Brooch
Every Celtic brooch is inspired by one of Ireland’s most precious archaeological finds, the Tara Brooch. Discovered in 1850, it is now displayed in the National Museum of Ireland. This ancient treasure dates back to the 8th century. Our customer favourite Tara Brooch (pictured above) features accents of eye-catching Connemara Marble.
6. St Brigid’s Cross
St. Brigid’s crosses are still made every 1 February in some parts of Ireland. They are usually made of rushes or straw and are traditionally hung above the entrance to the home. A classic Irish symbol of protection. Why not wear your very own Brigids cross every day of the year with our beautifully crafted Celtic cross pendant (pictured above).
Ogham writing is Ireland’s earliest form of writing. Examples are still to be found on many ancient standing stones throughout various rural parts of Ireland. The script itself consists of a series of strokes. Its timeless beauty lies in its simplicity. Today it is a hugely popular design in Celtic jewelry and tattoos. This stunning ogham pendant (pictured above) is the perfect gift for that special someone.
The silver ingot features the words “My Soulmate” in 18-carat gold ancient Ogham writing on one side. Turn the pendant over to reveal the Gaelic translation “Mo Anam Cara” in beautifully inscribed detail.
Well, it’s time for me to sign off now. Do join me next week. In the meantime why not browse our full collection below. And since you’re a loyal blog reader, you can receive a 10% discount sitewide! Just use BLOG10 at the checkout.
So until then…….
Slán go fóill!