1/16 German, 1/16 French, 1/16 Scottish, 1/16 Armenian, ¼ Italian, ½ Irish. Typically, people with ancestors from different nations cherish many possessions; however, there is only one item that is significant to both my heredity and my family: the claddagh ring. The claddagh ring is traditional in Irish history because of the meaning behind the unique design. The structure of the ring is always two hands holding a heart with a crown on top. The heart symbolizes the qualities of love, the hands embody friendship, and the crown represents loyalty. In Ireland, the ring is mostly used to signify a person’s relationship status. For example, worn on the right hand with the heart facing out, the wearer is single and his or her “heart is open”. Yet, if worn on the right hand with the heart facing the owner’s body, then “someone has taken their heart”. Otherwise, when the ring is on the left hand but worn with the heart facing away, then the person is engaged. My father and my papa wear the ring on their left hand with the heart facing them to show they are married. My dad’s parents are enthusiastically Irish: both of their Grandparents came from Ireland. My great great grandmother was born in County Kerry, which is where my tata purchased all her nieces and nephews the claddagh rings. Although I come from many other ethnicities, the Irish root is the most fundamental to me. I am honored to represent my heritage by wearing my claddagh ring.
– Alexandra Riordan