The Celts were around before the Egyptians built their Great Pyramids. In fact, some Celtic monuments like the Newgrange stone passage tomb in Ireland are over 5000 years old.
Celtic tradition comes to us from across the ages. And a long history of both joy and bloodshed accompany these symbols.
What we find in Celtic design today reflects both mythical origins and the religious ingrafting. The Celts were invaded by the Normans and various other nations throughout history. And each culture brought their influence.
The most recent influence on Celtic design is Christianity.
You'll find this influence in St. Brigid's Cross and the Trinity Knot, a pagan symbol adopted by the Irish Catholic Church.
But if you want to wear these symbols, one of the most comfortable ways is around your finger. Celtic rings are both beautiful and stunning. Let's look at our top designs.
1. Claddagh Celtic Rings
This ring design is actually named after a town in Ireland. Today, it's essentially a small subsection of Galway. But it used to be a prosperous fishing town on the banks of Galway Bay.
The Claddagh or "An Cladach" means the shore in Irish Gaelic. It's an ancient village and its history dates all the way to the 5th century.
The funny thing about this little "village" is that they had their own King who sailed with the fishing boats and settled disputes like a judge.
The ring itself is a set of hands holding a heart. It's a common wedding band in Ireland. And it's also a symbol of love and friendship.
If you wear it facing toward you and on your left hand, you're married. If you wear it away from you and on your left hand, you're engaged.
If you wear it toward you on your right hand, you're in a relationship. And if you wear it away from you and on your right hand, you're single.
2. Celtic Dragons
The dragon is an ancient mythical creature that dates back to biblical myth. But the Celts used dragons in their own mythology as well.
These beasts lived in the marshy swamps of Ireland and were referred to as the "pest" or "the worm."
These were often slain by heroes in Irish mythology. And their forms show up often in Celtic design.
Irish rings often feature dragons to show the wearer's strength. And if your lady friend is into dragons, you might want to buy her dragon Celtic rings to show her you think she's strong.
3. Spirals and Waves in Celtic Design
The Triskelion is a common pattern in Irish and Celtic rings. It's a set of three spirals in a triad pattern.
Its name is derived from the Greek word Triskeles. And it means "Three Legs."
It's a symbol that predates Christianity's influence on Celtic symbols and its actual meaning is shrouded in mystery. Drawing from early sources, it could tie into themes of motion and signify energy in nature.
The symbol could also represent common natural cycles. Life, death, and rebirth were all common ideas presented throughout Celtic mythology.
It could also be an early version of the trinity symbol. The pagan version of the trinity symbol represents the complete habitation of mind, body, and spirit.
Whatever the Triskelion actually meant to the ancient Celts, it's a beautiful symbol to wear on your finger.
The triskelion also influenced other aspects of Celtic design. You can see waves and spirals all over the place in Celtic imagery.
Celtic rings with waves are a popular choice for both men and women.
4. The Celtic Sun Cross
Lugh was a solar god in Celtic mythology. He was known for his many skills.
And his symbol was a cross with a sun at its center. This was another symbol the Celtic Christians later used in their monuments. St. Patrick was well known for blending Christianity with Irish paganism.
The Celtic Cross became a pervasive symbol throughout Celtic design. You can see it everywhere from headstones to pendants to Celtic rings.
The Celtic cross usually includes some sort of weave on the arms and legs of the cross. Its center is framed by a halo which originally represented the sun.
Often these designs include some sort of jewelry at the center. And the Irish gemstone, the emerald, is a common stone in Celtic jewelry.
5. Celtic Knots
Celtic knots are probably the most popular designs in Celtic jewelry. They typically consist of various neverending line knots.
These designs always tie into some sort of eternal meaning. The most popular of these knots is the Trinity Knot. But there are many other knot designs to choose from when selecting Celtic jewelry design.
Celtic knots have been woven to shape many things in the past. One common shape is the heart.
Usually, the love knot consists of two to four hearts interwoven eternally. This, like the Claddagh ring, is a symbol of true and eternal love.
The sailor's knot is not an eternal knot. Two lines link together in separate loops. And usually, these sit opposite each other on a torc or a ring.
The Dara knot symbolizes deep roots. It's meant to mimic the roots of an oak tree.
While the design is modern, it's rooted in ancient Celtic ideas about nature and our connection to the world.
The shield knot's symbolism is fairly obvious. It's a symbol of strength and protection.
It was often used to ward off evil spirits and keep the wearer from harm. To make sure it's a shield, four corners must always be present. Otherwise, the design can vary from artist to artist.
Putting a Ring on It:
The power of Celtic myth pervades every symbol and piece of jewelry associated with it. And when you wear a Celtic ring, you connect yourself to a deep tradition.
If you're thinking of buying your best friend and girl a ring, check out our selection. We have a variety of Celtic designs to choose from.