Can You Buy a Claddagh Ring for a Family Member?

Claddagh rings make beautiful gifts for both men and women alike, but many people wonder if it’s appropriate to give a Claddagh ring to a mother, father, sibling, aunt, uncle, godparent, another family member or a close friend.

The reason for the concern about how suitable a Claddagh ring is for presenting to a family member relates to its history. Originally, the ring symbolized a young woman’s marital status and was often presented by her father or even by a man that she was courting. The hand upon which she wore the ring and the direction that the point of its heart faced signified whether or not she was spoken for, engaged or married. Because it has long been associated with romantic relationships, many people mistakenly believe that Claddagh rings can only be exchanged by lovers or presented as an engagement ring or wedding band.

The truth is that Claddagh rings often times do not symbolize romance in modern times. The ownerof  the Original Claddagh Ring store in Galway, Ireland, explained to the writer of the blog enjoy-irish-culture.com that at his popular shop only about 1 in every 50 rings are purchased for use as a wedding ring. More often than not, the rings are bought to symbolize a person’s Irish heritage.

A Claddagh ring can have whatever meaning you wish for it to have to the person for whom you buy it. While it’s a sentimental gift to present to a significant other, it’s also a fitting present for a family member or friend who is of Irish descent or simply loves Irish culture.