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Friendship Rings – Jewelry Brings us Closer

OG-Claddagh-ring

A Claddagh Ring – the Original Friendship Rings

There is no better way to let the world know you are part of a dynamic duo than with a friendship ring.

If you’re like me, you probably found yourself wondering “where did friendship rings originate?”

The Symbolism of the Claddagh Ring

One of the earliest friendship rings is the claddagh ring. The two hands represent friendship, while the heart and crown stand for love and loyalty, respectively.

It All Started with the Irish

Legend has it that Richard Joyce, a silversmith from Galway during the 1700s, was captured and sold into slavery around 1675 while on a passage to the West Indies. As it happened, he became the slave of a Moorish goldsmith and was taught the craft.

King William III sent an ambassador to Algeria to demand the release of all British prisoners, which included Richard Joyce.

After fourteen years, Joyce was returned to Galway and brought along with him the ring he had fashioned while in captivity: what we’ve come to know as the Claddagh. He gave the ring to his sweetheart, married her, and became a goldsmith with “considerable success”.

His initials are in one of the earliest surviving Claddagh rings.

Early on the claddagh ring was given to signify friendship. Evidently if the heart faced one way it was a friendship ring and if the heart faced another it signified romantic love.

Like Two Puzzle Pieces

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This friendship ring is really two interlocking zig zag rings. The theme of one design broken into two so that both friends can wear a half of the ring is a popular theme.

This zig zag design is an excellent example of this design theme.

Rings by Emmy Mac Kenzie, of Jewelry by Emmy.

“Always Sisters. Forever Friends”

always-sisters-forever-friends

Rings by Limoges Jewelry

Another very popular trend in friendship jewelry and loving gifts in general is adding readable words to it.

In these friendship rings the message is visible to anyone and immediately communicates that it is about friendship.

Best B*tches!

best-bitches-friendship-ring

Rings by Gary at Whomp Ware

Continuing the words on band theme we have this example.

Adding humor to friendship rings follows the popularity of envelope-pushing word messages on tee shirts.

Friendship Love to Sherlock Fans

holmes-watson-friendship-rings

Made by, From the Internet

I’m a big fan of Sherlock Holmes, and I watch both Elementary and Sherlock.

I think two friends who help each other figure out the mysteries in their lives, from boyfriends, to how to do well in their jobs, to how to talk to their parents, should totally rock these Holmes/ Watson rings.

My question is who gets to be Holmes and who gets to be Watson?

Mizpah Ring

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Victorian 9 Ct Rose Gold Mizpah Ring

When I was young my friend gave me a mizpah ring. For me that still is the truest friendship ring. The word Mizpah  means ‘May The Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from another.’

At the time I received this ring I didn’t know what being Jewish was. I just knew Maureen was a wonderful friend and her gift made me really happy.

I am now happily married to a Jewish man. I wish I was still in contact with Maureen. We’d have so much to talk about. When I think of friendship rings, the mizpah ring is the top of the list in my heart.

I hope you enjoyed this little visit down friendship lane!

Calla Gold

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About Calla Gold

Calla Gold is a Personal Jeweler and Author who takes pride in working with clients one-on-one to integrate their personal sense of style and taste into custom designed jewelry and repaired jewelry pieces.   Unlike typical Santa Barbara jewelry businesses, Calla Gold has no brick-and-mortar location. Calla Gold comes to you, bringing you the jewelry collection you want to see and collaborating with you to create unique custom jewelry. Calla also works with at-a-distance clients.

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Linda Perkins
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Linda Perkins

I have good memories of my friendship necklace! I think the movie Annie made them popular with young girls in the 80’s. It was like the puzzle rings, but it was a heart shaped pendant that was zig zagged in the middle into two pieces that fit together. Thanks for the memories!

Valerie
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Valerie

I never got one from a friend, but I did get a claddagh ring for myself….have always loved them.

Kaitlyn Matsubara
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Kaitlyn Matsubara

What a coincidence that you posted this. I recently noticed that my friend was wearing the Claddagh ring, and I was curious what it was for. After reading this, it makes a lot of sense. Last year she studied abroad in Ireland, which is where it originated. And now I have the answer! Thanks for this, Calla!

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