The Emerald Isle- the land of the Irish (and of four-leaf clovers)! Ireland also produces a unique selection of rings for both males and females. Irish rings evoke the Celtic history of the island; and the designs have their route in medieval religious art; which is why they incorporate a lot of ancient symbols. These can include St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It was him who, in the fifth century, changed the course of Irish religious history; by making it a Christian nation. You may also find the symbol of a ship with sails on Irish rings; signifying the emigration of Irish families during the potato famine in the mid-nineteenth century. You can also find a larger selection of rings with celtic knot designs or featuring Gaelic text around the themes of love and friendship. A Irish ring is a piece of culture and history. You can pick them up fairly cheaply as costume jewelry; or you can go for a more expensive option from a jewelry store. They are a perfect way for the native Irish and Irish descendents to remember their heritage and background; or just for an admirer of the jewelry to get something unique and fashionable to wear.
The most popular design of rings in Ireland is that of the Claddagh. This symbol of hands clutching a crowned heart stands for "let love and friendship reign". It is given its name as the design comes from a town of the same name in the Irish county of Galway; hundreds of years ago. It makes a perfect gift; and indeed, due to its strong routes in Irish history, has a special custom attached of this very nature. One is supposed to receive the Claddagh ring as a gift; signifying the love that the giver has for the receiver. The heart stands for love; the hands for friendship, and the crown for loyalty.
As well as the custom of who should buy the ring, there are also set ways to wear a Claddagh ring- if you want to follow tradition that is! If worn on the right hand with the heart facing outwards towards the finger nail; it signifies that you are single and looking for love! However, if you wear the ring on your right hand with the heart facing you and the crown pointing towards your fingernail, it shows that you are taken, and that your heart already belongs to someone else. Then when that ring moves over to your left hand with the heart still facing you, you are betrothed to another (so your admirers had better stay away)!
These special rings come in all types of precious and non-precious metals; and can have hearts made of birthstones or diamonds. It can be a really personal gift to treasure forever.
So give an Irish ring as a gift today; or just buy one for yourself (if you don't mind breaking an ancient custom and having the leprechauns come after you)- I won't tell if you won't!