Are Claddagh Rings Tacky or Stylish? – Detailed Answer

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Claddagh rings are not tacky. Granted, you may come across some poorly showing Claddagh rings in the same way you would any other kind of ring.

There are also some wonderful, classy Claddagh rings that show beautifully and, most importantly, are full of meaning.

Claddagh rings are for all, and if you are gifted one, be sure to learn how to wear it tastefully.

When my friend was getting a ring for his girlfriend, I got to learn a lot about these rings, and in this post,

I’ll be sharing the most important things you need to know about them, so read on. 


About Claddagh rings

Are Claddagh Rings Tacky

A true Claddagh ring must feature a pair of hands holding a heart with a crown. They are worn by both men and women, with the men wearing heavy, wide rings while the women wear rings with a narrower profile.

The hands signify friendship, the heart love, while the crown signifies royalty. Two phrases often accompany the ring. The one is about love and friendship reigning, while the other is simply about love, loyalty, and friendship.

Although the Claddagh ring gets its name and design from the Irish seaside village of Claddagh in Galway, the true origin is unknown. The people there have used it since the 1700s as a wedding ring, but today the ring’s popularity is global.

Are Claddagh Rings Tacky

How you wear it sends a message to all who see it. You can wear it on the middle or ring finger. If it was given to you by a lover, you wear it on your left hand. If you get it from a friend or a family member, you wear it on the right hand.

The rules go further. If the ring is on the left hand with the heart pointing in, it means the wearer’s romantic relationship is serious, married even. Left hand heart pointing outwards signifies a romantic relationship that is uncertain, perhaps engaged.

Are Claddagh Rings Tacky

If the wearer has the ring on the right hand with the heart pointing in, it means they are in a relationship. The ring on the right hand, heart pointing out, signifies that the wearer is unattached and open to love.

If you are looking for a Claddagh ring, regardless of the kind of relationship you and the person are in, select the style and metal to match the recipient’s taste and fashion sensibilities.

The only thing you can NEVER do is get a Claddagh ring for yourself. It is said to cause bad luck.


Are Claddagh rings tacky or stylish?

Are Claddagh Rings Tacky

According to jewelers, the Claddagh rings are favoured and considered stylish by several celebrities and are sought after all year round, with the demand going up during the holidays when people are buying gifts for their loved ones.

As jewelers reinterpreted this ring through the years, they designed modern shapes that are worn alone as statement pieces or layered into a stack.

Are Claddagh Rings Tacky

However, to those who consider anything that hints at culture as tacky, the Claddagh ring is a no-no: it is old, unattractive, and should be done away with. A few still insist that it is in bad taste to wear this ring if you are not Irish. 


Are Claddagh rings with birthstones tacky?

Are Claddagh Rings Tacky

No, Claddagh rings with birthstones are not tacky and can even add a sweet personal touch to the ring. The stone is set in the ring’s centre.

For it to be stylish, both the ring and the stone need to be small, making them therefore more suited for the ladies. The ring can be of any metal. A simple band that is not too expensive.

If the ring or the birthstone is huge, the Claddagh ring will end up looking tacky regardless of how expensive it is. 


Pros and cons of wearing Claddagh rings

Are Claddagh Rings Tacky

If you wear a Claddagh ring, the pros are that it will communicate your relationship status to all who see it, without you having to otherwise tell it.

It also gives the giver a chance to see how the wearer regards their friendship by how they wear the ring without outright asking them.

The cons of wearing a Claddagh ring are that it can draw unwarranted attention to the wearer or seem to be an open invitation to all.

In a situation where two friends think differently about a relationship, the gift can be a source of conflict and potentially destroy a valuable friendship. 


Can a Claddagh ring be a wedding ring?

Are Claddagh Rings Tacky

Yes, it can. One of the traditional uses of the Claddagh ring is as a wedding ring.

Once the marriage is official, the newlyweds wear the Claddagh ring on the left hand, with the heart turned in.

This signifies they are in a committed relationship and not looking for romantic love. 


How to wear Claddagh rings without being tacky?

Are Claddagh Rings Tacky

To wear Claddagh rings without being tacky, you need to wear them with due respect to their Irish heritage and follow the Claddagh ring rules, which are:

  • Wear the ring on your right hand, heart edge pointing towards you, if you are in a relationship.
  • Wear the ring on your right hand, heart edge pointing away from you, if you are not in a relationship and open to one.
  • Wear the ring on your left hand, preferably on the ring finger, with the heart edge pointing away from you if you are engaged.
  • Wear the ring on your left hand, preferably on the ring finger, heart edge pointing towards you, if you are married.

Are Claddagh Rings Tacky

It goes without saying that this means you wear only one Claddagh ring at a time. 



Although the tradition of exchanging rings as a sign of love and commitment is older than the Claddagh ring, it is this design that is currently most enduring for its symbolism.

If you have a friend that you’d want to appreciate, maybe a Claddagh ring is the perfect gift.

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