In the 20th century, the Claddagh design moved beyond the ring to feature on many other jewelry pieces and items, like this beautiful locket.
The symbolism of the 5th century Celtic Cross  extends beyond the traditional Christian cross. What we call bracelets and bangles were first known as torques and cuffs in the Celtic world.
The symbolic associations of the ring for thousands of years and begin with the circle, a central design in sacred geometry. The circle has many meanings and associations, including wholeness, perfection, order and infinity. Now, spot the hidden meanings in our full collection of Irish and Celtic jewelry on The Irish Store!
Worn by people of high status, jewelry had supernatural properties that kept its wearers safe and blessed.
Its unique combination of cross and circle reveals the lingering influence of Ireland’s pagan past. The strict rules governing the wearing of Celtic brooches reveals much about the use of jewelry to communicate status. Like most things from the Celtic world, Ogham carried a spiritual meaning, interweaving earthly and heavenly symbols.
The beads were first crafted by Irish medieval monks to aid with the recitation of the long cycle of Catholic prayers known as the Rosary. With the beads helping keep count of the prayers, the mind is supposed to be free to focus on the mysteries of the rosary.
Everything about a piece of jewelry had meaning, most importantly the metal it was crafted from and its engravings and design. The Claddagh became popular for the beauty and meaning of the design: the hands represent friendship, the heart love, and the crown loyalty.


The trunk remains on earth, uniting both. In Celtic culture, trees were invested with important meanings. Brooches were so important within Celtic culture that there were numerous laws defining how they should be worn and defining judgments on accidents they were believed to cause.
Crafted from precious metals like gold and silver, torques were worn by those of high status - warriors, priests and noblewomen. In Celtic culture, the meaning of the ring depends on the metal it is crafted from, the precious stones included, and its design. Many Ogham letters were inspired by trees, so central to the old Irish life and imagination. Patrick to explain the Trinity of God the Father, Son and Spirit, in the conversion of the Irish to Christianity in the 5th century.
Tradition records that the rosary was inspired by an apparition by the Virgin Mary in 1214, leading to her title as Our Lady of the Rosary and explaining its association with Mary’s traditional symbol, the rose.
This symbolism has made the Claddagh a popular gift among family, friends and romantic partners. In Ireland and the United States, the Claddagh is gifted from mother to daughter, and grandmother to granddaughter. In Celtic mythology, knots symbolize the sacred geometry of the universe and the interconnectedness of all life in the universe. When an area was cleared for tribal settlement, one tree known as the crann bethadh, the tree of life, was left in the center. Torques bestowed their wearers with magical blessings, repelling evil spirits and the curses of enemies.
Ogham’s horizontal and vertical lines formed an alphabet consisting of between one and five groups across a vertical root.


So we found out everything you need to know about the top 11 most important pieces of Celtic and Irish jewelry. In medieval and Renaissance Europe, the Claddagh’s clasped hands became associated with marriage vows and the Claddagh remains a popular choice for engagement and wedding rings today. Symbolizing the balance of natural life, the tree was valued for the food, warmth and shelter it provided to humans and animals.
Legend says that Patrick combined the cross of Christianity with the pagan sun cross in his conversion of the heathen Irish. Torques were also positively powerful, keeping confidence high and protecting from injury during battle.
Like the Celtic Cross, its influence extends back beyond Christianity to the pagan sun cross. More mysteriously, the ancient Irish Celts saw trees as the ancestors of humans and believed that pagan gods communicated with them through the tree of life. Placing the cross on top of the circle symbolized Christ’s supremacy over the pagan sun. Reed crosses are traditionally crafted on the feast day and hung in the Irish home to protect from evil forces, especially fire.



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