|Celtic Jewelry is an excellent
way to express your heritage as part of your wedding. Rings are the central prop in the
wedding ceremony. Celtic design wedding rings are a way that your heritage can be
displayed on a daily basis for the rest of your life. There is also a rich tradition,
which sadly is now rare, of using brooches as betrothal gifts. Earrings, pendants or
brooches make excellent gifts to brides maids. They are sentimental reminders of the
wedding that can be worn by the recipients in the for the rest of their lives. Traditional
mens jewelry items such as cuff links, kilt pins, tie tacks or belt buckles can be
given as attendant gifts to the best man and groomsmen.
Click for a selection of men's Celtic jewelry.
Something old, something new.
Recycle old jewelry, such as your grandmother's wedding ring melted down and cast into new Celtic design rings for your wedding. Click here to find out how.
|Symbolism of the Celtic wedding ring. Rings that display Celtic knotwork are becoming increasingly popular choices for wedding rings in the Celtic homelands and among the descendants of the Diaspora abroad. The circular shape of the wedding ring, since it has no beginning nor end, is a symbol of endless love and devotion. The endless strand of the Celtic knot is also a symbol of eternity and is a beautiful compliment to the symbolism of the ring itself. The crossing of the strands of the knot represent the interwoveness of our lives. Many designs link repetitions of knots with continuous strands linking each to the next. The meanings of these designs are not a strict symbolic language but are open to interpretation. You may think of the continuum of repetitions as representing an unbroken chain of generations. The interlace can represent the way in which the lives of the bride and groom are to be intertwined. Heart knots of course represent love. Feel free to use your imagination to tailor a personal symbolism for the rings you choose.|
Choosing a ring.
This page is sponsored by Walker Metalsmiths. We practice the craft of designing and producing Celtic jewelry. Our endeavor is to provide both the highest standard of craftsmanship as well as authentic and meaningful design. We know that other suppliers are only a click away on the web, so whether you choose our rings or others we humbly offer these suggestions.
Many Celtic rings have been given names either by their designers or by clever marketers. Names such as the "Lovers knot" or "the Eternity knot" each sound as if they must be a very specific design with a traditional legacy. In fact any of the Celtic knots can be said to share the sentiments of either of these names or many others. It would be a mistake to base your choice of a ring on what the supplier chooses to call it. Choose instead on the basis of how it looks and what the design means to you as you seek significance in the design. If you choose a knotwork ring be sure that there are no mistakes in the alternation of over and under crossings of the cord and look out for short cuts in design made for the sake of sizing. Some designers handle the sizing problem in ways that do not aesthetically or symbolically compromises the design. Others who do not fully understand the significance of the design butcher them for the sake of sizing.
Claddagh Rings, [ klah dah] or
less comonly [klay dah],
|Brooches were important for fastening garments
in earlier times and are still used in that way, especially for womens scarves or
plaids. A plaid, pronounced so that it rhymes with "maid", is a
tartan sash or cloak worn by either sex. When worn by a man it is usually with a kilt.
Scottish weddings frequently include the custom of the groom pinning a plaid of his clan
tartan on his bride as part of the wedding ceremony.
Scottish couples may want to feature Clan badge jewelry in their wedding.
|There are several types of brooches that are of specific interest to someone planning a wedding. The Luckenbooth brooch is a traditional piece of jewelry that takes its name from the "locked booths" were they were sold in Edinburgh in the 16th and 17th centuries. The design, very much like the claddagh, incorporates the heart and crown. There are many variations, often two hearts are intertwined or in some examples the hearts are formed of a stylized letter "M". The origin of the design came from the royal monogram of Mary Queen of Scots. A luckenbooth brooch is frequently used as a love token because of the heart motif. There is a superstition that a luckenbooth brooch pinned to a babys blanket will protect it from the evil eye or from fairie mischief. Curiously, in 18th century North America the luckenbooth brooch was adopted by Iroquois Indians who traded for them and copied them from Scottish settlers on the frontiers and from Highland soldiers that were involved in the French and Indian War.|
|Some traditional Celtic brooch forms that are
enjoying renewed use are the annular and the penannular brooches. The terms
for these brooches are frequently confused. These brooches are designed with the pin
crossing a circular opening so that it works rather like a belt buckle. The penannular
brooch has a break in the ring so that the pin may pass through and be twisted to lock it.
The annular or ring brooch is more secure and works by pulling a gather of cloth through
the center and then pinned through. People who delight in old fashioned and authentic
accessories prefer these. Many people find these brooch forms awkward to attach and so
they are often now made (shudder!) with fixed pins and modern safety catches on the back.
The most famous Celtic brooch is the Tara Brooch, now in the Irish National Museum. The
Tara Brooch is actually a pseudo-penannular brooch. It looks like a penannular in its
shape but since the ring is solid it cannot attach in the same way.
Medieval annular type designs influenced later plaid brooches in that they are frequently round. Mens plaid brooches are usually about two inches in diameter in Scotland. The larger "pipers" brooches are three or four inches and frequently are decorated with a large gemstone. This stone is most commonly a tea colored "Cairngorm" which is a quartz found in the Highlands. Authentic Cairngorms are no longer available and citrine or smoky quartz are substituted, usually from an imported source . Amethyst is also popular in traditional jewelry.
(c) Copyright Walker Metalsmiths 2001
23 May 01