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Iconic Celtic Symbols – Inspiration For Our Jewelry

Celtic Symbols are inspired by designs that are hundreds of years old, such as those found in ancient Celtic Manuscripts including the 9th Century Masterpiece of Irish Art History, “The Book of Kells”.

Celtic designs were also copied from Celtic & High Crosses that have survived wars, invasions and weathering and are still found all across Ireland hundreds of years after they were first carved!  

The meaning of each individual Celtic symbol is unique, some have very distinct meanings, and some do not, perhaps this is why they are such a popular choice regardless of a person’s heritage!

Celtic Symbols/Designs make perfect Jewelry designs, for pendants, rings, earrings and so much more. There is a simple and elegant beauty to the symbols used in Celtic Jewelry that never goes out of style. Celtic knot rings, Celtic crosses and Claddagh rings that express love are just a few of the possibilities.

The Celtic Knot or Trinity Knot (as it is commonly called) is one of the best known symbols of Ireland, and you can find many rings and other jewelry that display this. What’s notable about the Celtic knot is that it’s an endless weave that expresses the idea of infinity. This can have a spiritual meaning, or it can be an expression of love between two people, as with a Celtic wedding ring.

Celtic wedding ring

In today’s modern Ireland the three symbols of the Celtic Trinity Knot represent Infinite Love, Protection and Honor and a necklace or ring featuring this design is often the first gift a partner gives their loved one as a symbol of affection. Alternatively, one may choose this Celtic Trinity knot design simply because you are drawn to the symbol. Indeed, the knot is a very old symbol, and you can find numerous examples of it in the famous “Book of Kells”.

Celtic knots are commonly found on Celtic Crosses also. Celtic brooches originally served the practical purpose of fastening the clothing of the Celts, both men and women. Today, however, you can find all kinds of brooches with Celtic symbols that are worn for decorative purposes. In fact, on a visit to the National Museum of Ireland, you can see the “Tara Brooch”, a famous and very old piece of jewelry that dates all the way back to 700 AD.

By choosing to wear a Celtic piece, you are participating in a tradition that goes back to ancient times. Many Celtic pieces also contain images of animals, a pattern referred to as Celtic Zoomorphic Design: examples of these can also be found in that Famous “Book of Kells” where the Zoomorphic Design would also take the form of letters within the book.

Claddagh Ring

You might also consider the infamous Claddagh Ring, another wonderful iconic Celtic Symbol. In the early 16th century, an Irish man by the name of Richard Joyce shaped a unique ring for the girl he left behind back in Ireland.

The ring was fashioned of three symbols; the hands signifying Friendship, holding a heart signifying love, topped with a crown for loyalty. Richard and his love married and settled in the village of Claddagh. The village no longer exists but since those early days the Claddagh ring has been worn as a sign of Love, Loyalty and Friendship. When wearing the ring the heart pointed toward you means your heart is taken: the heart pointed away from you means your heart is free. Worn on the left ring finger, heart pointed toward you represents a wedding band. Although traditionally used as a wedding band, the Claddagh ring has come to be worn as a friendship ring as well.

The Shamrock

Probably the most well known of these Iconic Celtic Symbols is the Shamrock. The word ‘Shamrock’ is derived from seamróg, Gaelic for “clover,” and most likely refers to the native white clover. According to Irish folklore, the shamrock is useful as a charm against evil, and the four-leafed variety is still considered a lucky charm today. The importance of the Shamrock as a symbol is relatively recent, & it stems from an early 18th Century tradition that Patrick used the three-lobed leaf to explain the doctrine of the blessed trinity to Irish pagans…it is an unlikely story but it has stuck.

The shamrock became symbolic in other ways as time went on. In the 19th century it became a symbol of rebellion, and anyone wearing it risked death by hanging. It was this period that spawned the phrase “the wearin’ o’ the green”. Today, the shamrock is the most recognized symbol of the Irish, especially on St. Patrick’s Day, when all over the world, everyone is Irish for a day!

Shamrock Diamond Pendant

 

Celtic Crosses

The Celtic Cross has become a significant representation of Irish culture and history.  Celtic Crosses can be found throughout the countryside of Ireland, Scotland, England and indeed all of the Celtic Islands today. Celtic High Crosses were probably the most important achievement in the entire history of Irish sculpture.  

Some of the crosses date back to the period of the Druids, when St. Patrick came to Ireland to bring Christianity to them. The Druids used large stones to mark territories and land masses. Each cross found in Ireland today will tell you a story or a part of history that is timeless to see. The Celtic cross is a Latin straight cross with a circle around the center of the cross.

It was said that St. Patrick was told of a great stone that the Druid worshiped that was of circular shape. St. Patrick drew a Latin cross through the stone shape circle to bless it, trying to relate to symbols of Druid beliefs to draw them into Christianity.

This was the first recorded “Celtic Cross”. The circle today represents no beginning and no end (eternal life) and to some the circle represents the sun. Celtic crosses are worn by many different cultures today as a symbol of their culture and their faith. Whether worn as a symbol of faith or of fashion, these iconic Celtic Crosses are a striking statement of our Celtic Heritage.  

CELTIC SPIRIT by Shanore

For hundreds of years Celtic crosses have inspired designers and artists. Shanore’s, award winning creative team, have revived these beautiful symbols and present them to you as Celtic Spirit. These enchanting crosses come with a mixture of sterling silver, gold plate and precious stones.

Celtic Crosses

Shanore’s Celtic Crosses offers an assortment of styles from Saint Bridget’s Cross, Celtic Claddagh Cross, Open Knotwork and Traditional Cross.

Available in white gold, yellow gold, sterling silver and a selection with diamonds, emeralds and CZ (Cubic Zirconia).

Celtic cross

Claddagh Crosses

Shanore’s Celtic Cross collection contains a charming Celtic Claddagh Cross.

Saint Bridget’s, Open Knotwork and Traditional Crosses are also available in white gold, yellow gold, sterling silver and a selection with diamonds, emeralds and CZ (Cubic Zirconia).

St Brigid’s Cross

Shanore’s Celtic Cross collection contains a lovely rendition of a Saint Bridget’s Cross.

Celtic Claddagh, Open Knotwork and Traditional Crosses are also available in white gold, yellow gold, sterling silver and a selection with diamonds, emeralds and CZ (Cubic Zirconia).

Plain Crosses

Shanore’s Celtic Crosses contain Traditional, Open Knotwork and Plain Cross designs.

Saint Bridget’s and Celtic Claddagh Crosses are also available in white gold, yellow gold, sterling silver and a selection with diamonds, emeralds and CZ (Cubic Zirconia).

Stone Set Crosses

Shanore’s Celtic Crosses a choice of Stone Set Crosses.

Saint Bridget’s, Celtic Claddagh, Open Knotwork and Traditional Crosses are also available in white gold, yellow gold, sterling silver and a selection with diamonds, emeralds and CZ (Cubic Zirconia).

View our full range of Celtic jewelry, including Celtic engagement rings, Celtic wedding rings and Claddagh rings at www.shanore.com.

Should have a question for us, feel free to contact us any time. We are happy to help.

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3 thoughts on “Iconic Celtic Symbols – Inspiration For Our Jewelry

  1. I am worried about if the gemstone necklace bought by last week is a fake one. With the help of your post, I know a little ways to identify the necklace.

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