Misty fables surrounds one of Ireland's unique treasures,
"The Claddagh" a symbol of Love, Friendship and loyalty. Some 400 years ago in a fishing village called Claddagh overlooking Galway Bay, close to the city of the Tribes, lived Richard Joyce a Master Goldsmith. It was he who crafted this now famous design that has become part of the IRISH heritage. The Claddagh Ring belongs to a widespread group of finger rings called Fede or "Faith rings" which date from Roman times. They are distinguished by having the bezel cut or cast in the form of two clasped hands, symbolising faith, trust or "plighted troth". Fede rings were popular in the Middle Ages throughout Europe, and there are examples from this time in the National Museum of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin. The "Claddagh" ring is a particularly distinctive ring; two hands clasp a heart surmounted by a crown. The ring worn on the right hand, crown turned inward tells your heart is yet unoccupied, worn with the crown turned outwards reveals love is being considered.