Named for a small fishing village found outside of Galway City, Ireland, the Claddagh is an ancient symbol representing love, friendship, and fidelity (or loyalty). It traces its origins to the ancient "fide rings" (faith rings) of the Roman Empire, which at one point included parts of Ireland.
According to Wikipedia, "[t]he Claddagh's distinctive design features two hands clasping a heart, and usually surmounted by a crown. The elements of this symbol are often said to correspond to the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown). The expression which was associated with these symbols in the giving of the ring was: 'With my hands I give you my heart, and crown it with my love.'"
Originally worn most commonly as a ring, use of the Claddagh has constantly evolved since it first achieved popularity in the 16th century, with the symbol of the Claddagh now being worn as necklaces, earrings, tattoos, and more. Claddagh necklaces have become particularly popular over the past few decades, and are the subject of this fanlisting.