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The Claddagh or ‘An Cladach’ meaning ‘the shore’, is an area on the western side of Galway city. It was once an ancient fishing village, dating from the fifth century. Claddagh rings have been used there for centuries as wedding rings by the local fisherfolk. The original Claddagh ring is said to have been invented by Richard Joyce, a silversmith from Galway circa 1700.
As the legend goes…..
“Joyce was captured and enslaved by Algerian Corsairs around 1675 while on a passage to the West Indies; he was sold into slavery to a Moorish goldsmith who taught him the craft. After fourteen years Joyce was released when King William III sent an ambassador to Algeria to demand the release of any and all British subjects who were enslaved in that country at the time. He returned to Galway and brought along with him a ring he had fashioned while in captivity: what we’ve come to know as the Claddagh. The hands represent friendship, the heart represents love, and the crown represents loyalty. He gave the ring to his sweetheart, married, and established himself as a goldsmith, recreating the design that proved so popular for others.”
This Claddagh design has become recognised worldwide as an Irish tradition. Faller has created our own contemporary version of this traditional Irish design, incorporating hands, heart and crown and it appeals to both natives and visitors alike.