Pewter Brooch in Claddagh design. Legend: 16th century legend tells of Richard Joyce from Claddagh, Co. Galway, who was captured by Moor pirates and enslaved. In captivity he became a master of his trade (Goldsmith). His skilful hands shaped a unique ring for the woman he could never forget at home. After eight years he was released. He returned to Ireland, and to his great joy her heart remained his, never to be separated again. The Claddagh ring is a great traditional wedding ring, known the world over. Today it is commonly accepted that the joining hands, heart, and crown represent a perpetual bond of friendship, love and loyalty. Wearing a Claddagh ring with the heart pointing out signifies the wearer is unattached. If the heart is pointing in towards the wearers own heart, then that heart is taken.