Scottish Wedding Rings
Wedding rings fulfill various traditions for a Scottish wedding.
- Fede Rings
- Claddagh Rings
- Celtic Knot Wedding Rings
Since the Book of Genesis, rings have been given as pledges. A wedding tradition of the Romans was to give a betrothal ring. In the Middle Ages, the Scots began the wedding tradition of giving a silver fede ring. This ring was consigned to the kirk, or church, when arranging for their proclamation of marriage.
Fede RingsOriginating in Italy during the Renaissance Era, fede (or faith) rings featured two right hands clasped together, the left over the right, as a symbol of faith and concord. In Italian, they were known as Mani in fede.
The National Museum of Ireland has some gold, silver, and bronze samples which date back to Late Medieval times.
In the Middle Ages they were called poesy rings and contained a decoratively inscribed sentiment. The rings were given as a romantic gift or token of friendship. Traditionally made of sterling silver as engagement rings, they were then replaced with the same ring in gold upon marriage.
One source for Gaelic poesy rings is Sapphire Lane. They offer four of Celtic origin, reproduced from museum collections.
- Pulse of my Heart, originally produced in 17th century Dublin.
- Le mo ghrasa mise, agus liomsa mo ghra, or "I'm beloveds and he is mine" from the Song of Solomon, a popular sentiment from the 15th century.
- Anam Cara, which translates as soul friend, or one you share your innermost thought and feelings with.
- Gra Anois Agus Go Deo, translated as love, now and forever
- And she was fayr as is the rose in May
- They also offer a Polish wooden ring box with a shamrock design
Claddagh RingsAn Cladach, meaning a flat stony shore, was a fishing village near Galway, destroyed in 1934.
An adaptation of the fede ring, these faith rings are distinguished by having the bezel cut or cast in the form of two clasped hands, symbolizing trust or plighted troth, with a crown surmounting the clasped heart.
Like the Luckenbooth brooch, these rings were kept with great pride as family heirlooms, and were lovingly passed down from mother to daughter. They were used as both a betrothal and wedding ring. As a betrothal ring, the crown was worn towards the knuckle. After the marriage ceremony, the crown was turned toward the nail.
In the World Trade Center, rescue workers recovered 200 Claddagh rings from the rubble at Ground Zero.
Two other unusual examples of Claddaghs ~
A Russian Mechanical Claddagh Ring , with the hands opening to reveal the heart, cast in gold, and selling for $375.
A Cambrian gold Claddagh brooch, from the 14th or 15th century.
The engraved quote reads
To ye, ihe[s]u,
my troth I plight,
and to ye, Mary,
his mother bright
Celtic Knot Wedding RingsThere are innumerable sources for Celtic Knot Rings. Everyone who sells anything Scottish, sells rings. Two sources of note are
- Walker Metalsmiths.
They offer a variety of Celtic knot wedding rings in yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, or all three combined in intricate patterns with ruby, sapphire, emerald, amethyst, garnet, diamond, Connemara marble, Iona bloodstone, green topaz, tanzanite, opals, and tsavorite.
- Irish Tinker
Soul Mate rings are available in men’s and ladies rings, with four quotes ~ Gra, Dilseacht, Cairdeas ~ Love, Loyalty, FriendshipGra Geal Mo Chroi ~ Love of My HeartGra Go Deo ~ Love ForeverMo Anam Cara ~ My Soul Mate
They also offer a Legend Ring, a design from the Ancient Book of Kells, with the legend, "One, joined together where there was two"
Several styles of Celtic knot rings, with and without precious and semi-precious stones are also available.
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