As anyone who has read the celebrity news will note, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian recently tied the knot in an extravagant wedding in Florence and then flew to Ireland for their honeymoon where they stayed in some of the country’s most luxurious hotels, castles and stately homes all befitting of royalty.
For some the couples choice of honeymoon destination many have seemed a bit of a surprise but those in the know would recall that Kim’s parents Bruce (her stepfather) and Kris had spent their honeymoon in Ireland with Bruce presenting Kim’s mother Kris with a Claddagh ring, Ireland’s most famous example of Celtic jewelry, as a symbol of his undying love for her. And it was in keeping with this family tradition that the recently married couple decided to fly to Ireland as part of their honeymoon as opposed to staying in Italy.
And it wasn’t just Kim’s parents choice of honeymoon destination that Kanye and Kim recreated but also the unique gift that Bruce had given to Kris on their honeymoon, for among the many Irish themed gifts that Kanye bought for friends and family back home was a special item for his wife, a solid silver Claddagh ring.
The selection of a Claddagh ring as a token gift of eternal love has been a long held tradition in Ireland over the centuries. Known throughout the world for its unique design which features two hands clasping a heart and surmounted by a crown, three elements which are said to symbolize the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands) and loyalty (the crown) and the original background story of how it came to be, the Claddagh ring has a certain romantic and timeless appeal. A revered and world famous example of Celtic jewelry, the Claddagh ring offers countless meanings for the wearer as its very design helps to represent different types of love and affection from familial (parent to child), to platonic and romantic love.
Claddagh rings are thus ideal gifts for different occasions and denoting different reasons. In some cases they are handed down from generations, with a fine tradition of mothers presenting a Claddagh ring to their daughters when they come of age. On other occasions they can be given as a lasting sign of friendship. However due to their romantic history they are most familiar to people as a symbol of romantic love and relationships, in the past in particular they were a popular wedding and engagement ring.
Their popularity and different uses is due to one feature that sets the Claddagh ring apart, an Irish custom has it that how one places a Claddagh ring on ones finger conveys ones relationship status.
- If worn on the right hand with the point of the heart facing toward the fingertips, the ring confirms that the wearer is single and may be looking for love.
- If worn on the right hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist, the wearer is shown to be in a relationship.
- If worn on the left hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips, the wearer is shown to be engaged.
- And if worn on the left hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist, the wearer is shown to be married.
It is this long held custom allied with its unique design based on the trinity of the cherished qualities of love, friendship and loyalty that made the Claddagh ring a traditional engagement and wedding ring. Whilst its time as a wedding ring of choice has diminished somewhat in favour of diamond rings, they are still popular as an engagement ring and have inspired a number of Celtic wedding bands and rings which are becoming a popular alternative to diamond wedding rings.
With their romantic Irish past, unique design that symbolizes the many sides of love and qualities needed in a successful relationship and the unique premise that shows the relationship status of the wearer it is no wonder that first Bruce and Kris and now Kanye and Kim all invested in the humble and romantic Claddagh ring as a token symbol not only of their love and new married status but also possibly as a reminder of the time spent on their Irish honeymoon.