If you want a wedding ring, which combines deep, mystical meaning, with attractive design, then you should consider an Irish wedding ring. Ireland has deep roots in the Celtic culture. As a result, many powerful symbols have survived. Celtic motifs have been used for many years in Irish jewelry to symbolize fundamental ideals about eternal love, fidelity and loyalty.
Celtic and Irish weddings rings are more popular now than they have ever been and are widely available all around the world. This is because the symbolism used in Celtic art is immensely powerful and can add meaning to wedding rings. Wedding rings are powerful symbols, in their own right. Celtic patterns and artwork can infuse these unassuming, but effective items of jewelry, with even more significance.
Guide to Celtic Knots and Patterns
When you are choosing your Irish wedding ring, there are a number of traditional Celtic knot designs which are commonly used. These intricate, interwoven designs represent powerful ideas about the unity of nature and humanity. Even if you do not have any Celtic roots, these designs can be intensely moving. They can help you to express your feelings about lasting love.
The true meaning of many Celtic knots and patterns is not known as they were never recorded by those that created them. However, a number of illuminated manuscripts surviving from the 6th and 7th century do provide a wealth of clues that can assist with modern interpretations. For Irish wedding rings, powerful Celtic designs include the following:
- Eternity Knot (also known as the Trinity or Lover’s Knot) – this is one of the most popular symbols of Celtic art. It shows two looping, unbroken lines that symbolize eternal love and fidelity. This is a popular choice for Irish wedding rings and can be included in basic designs or as a part of more complex geometric patterns.
- Maze Patterns – these are known as ‘key and step’ patterns and symbolize the journey we all undertake in life. This is a powerful symbol to represent the challenges along the path of life, which offers both joy and pain.
- Celtic Spirals – spirals are one of the oldest mythical symbols in Celtic art and represent many influential ideas such as the link between the inner and outer consciousness
- Celtic Crosses – this is one of the most cherished symbols in Celtic culture. It represents many powerful ideas about the nature of life and death.
The Claddagh rings
The Claddagh ring (Irish: fáinne Chladaigh) is one of the most enduring symbols in Celtic culture. It combines several powerful images into one basic design. The face of the ring features two hands holding a heart, over which sits a crown. The heart symbols love, the two hands friendship and the crown loyalty.
This powerful trio of symbols represents the foundations of a marriage and is a hugely popular choice for modern couples. The Claddagh ring originated from a small fishing village outside of Galway of the same name. It was first recorded, in its current design, in the 17th century. However, the symbols themselves are much older.
Wearing the Ring
Many people also believe that the way in which the Claddagh ring is worn is also symbolic. If the ring is worn on the right hand with the heart facing outwards, then it shows the wearer is single and looking for love. If the ring is worn on the left hand with the heart facing outwards, then it means the wearing is engaged.
Once the marriage has taken place the ring is turned to face inwards. This means that Claddagh rings can be both engaged and wedding rings. Claddagh rings are popular worldwide. They are often considered as heirlooms and passed on through the female line from mother to daughter.
Buying Your Celtic Wedding Ring
You can buy Irish wedding rings from a number of different sources. They are widely available, in both traditional jewelry shops and online stores. One of the most popular stores for Celtic rings of all kinds is Celtic-weddingrings.com (www.celtic-weddingrings.com).This online store offers an extensive range of Irish wedding rings in a number of different styles and finishes.
You can choose from low-cost silver and 9k gold options. There are also more expensive 18k yellow and white gold rings. If you are interested in a Claddagh ring, then there are several striking examples available on this website.
This includes the Heavy Claddagh Ring (C-101), which is available in silver and also yellow and white gold. You can choose a Claddagh ring to suit your budget. Prices range from 10k gold options from just $259 through to 18k gold pieces from $577.
Eternity Knot Rings
Eternity Knot rings and Celtic Spiral Wedding rings are also available (from $300 to $900). If your budget is more flexible a beautiful hand crafted solid 18k Gold Celtic Knot Wedding Band (MR11946M) from $1,289.00.
Oromi.com (www.oromi.com) is another leading Celtic wedding ring provider. This website offers a number of choices including 8.0 milimeter Celtic Designs 14k Wedding Ring (CE-50389) which is available from $525. These are suitable, not just for weddings. They are also appropriate for a wide range of different momentous occasions.
It is traditional for Irish wedding rings to be passed down from mother to daughter. There is also a thriving market in vintage Celtic wedding rings. Many excellent examples can be found in both offline and online antique shops and auction houses.
Second Hand & Vintage Rings
If you do want to buy a second hand or vintage wedding ring, then make sure you check the hallmarks, carefully. This will show you what purity the metal is. This valuable information will help you to judge the prices you should pay for the ring. Some extremely old pieces of jewelry may not have hallmarks, but these pieces can be validated by experts.
What Type of Ring to Choose
Irish wedding rings are available in a wide range of different materials including precious and semi-precious metals and gems. Gold is a terrific choice for an Irish wedding ring as this soft metal can easily be worked into the intricate Celtic patterns and symbols. Gold also offers a large variety of pricing options and finishes. You can choose from low cost 9k gold (37.5% gold) options through to purer 18k gold (75% gold).
Gold can also be combined with other metals to form different colours such as white and rose gold. Silver is a popular choice for Irish jewelry and offers a low-cost option for Celtic wedding rings. You can get some attractive silver designs from as little as $30. Platinum is a popular modern material for wedding rings as it offers a beautiful ‘white’ finish and is exceptionally durable.
However, this precious metal is frightfully expensive and so will not be affordable for most buyers. Titanium has become more popular as a metal for wedding rings in recent years as it is low cost and exceptionally durable. Titanium is commonly used in men’s wedding ring design as it can offer a remarkably rugged, masculine finish. This metal is also combined with platinum or gold for stimulating effects. The only drawback with titanium is that it cannot be re-sized.
Because Irish wedding rings are widely available, there will be a whole range of sizing options for most designs. You do need to get your ring finger measured by a professional fitting service in order to ensure you buy a comfortable, well fitting ring. All jewelry stores will be able to offer you size fitting and advice on which size is best for you. Your fingers can change size, under different circumstances.
Because of this fluctuation, it is necessary to get some professional advice, on sizing. You could try on a ring that fits well that day, only to find it is too tight or too loose when you get it home. Many people opt to wear a ring that is two sizes larger to ensure a proper fit.
The profile of a wedding ring can also affect the fit. Therefore, this is another consideration. Designs include the following: court shaped, flat court shaped, D-shaped, flat shaped, and more options.
Court Shaped Rings
Court shaped rings have slightly curved edges which do not sit flat against the skin. This creates a much looser feeling fit which is known as a ‘comfort fit’. Flat court shaped rings are curved on the inside to maintain the comfort fit, but flat on the outside to sit neatly against engagement rings. D shaped wedding rings are flat on the inside and curved on the outside. This gives a lighter feeling ring shape with a slightly tighter fit. Flat-shaped rings are flat, on both inside, and outside edges.
They fit close to the skin providing a tighter fit which is known as a ‘traditional fit’. The shape of your ring can depend on the setting of your engagement ring, as well. If you have a large diamond, then distinctive curved wedding ring can be designed that will sit comfortably around your engagement ring setting.
Irish weddings rings are both beautiful and meaningful and offer a delightful way to express your love and union in marriage.