Symbolic Meanings of Celtic Wedding Rings
Posted on May 04 2013
Before working for a jeweler that specializes in wedding rings — i.e. deBebians — I had never realized just how many wedding ring designs and options are available. I still thought of wedding rings as basic plain bands, made of gold or platinum. I now know that the options for a wedding ring are seemingly endless, and if you’re the kind of person who likes to express himself or herself through jewelry, the process of choosing a wedding ring is the perfect opportunity to find a unique design that represents your individuality. While there are many, many choices out there, including literally thousands offered on our website, this post will be limited only to the niche of Celtic wedding rings.
The word Celtic is associated with the over one million people who speak Celtic languages, such as Welsh, Irish or Scottish Gaelic. However, you don’t have to be Celtic to appreciate ancient Celtic art, religion or ceremony. Celtic symbols carry an air of mystery as well as history, because they hail back to an ancient time, about 500 B.C. to 400 A.D. For this reason, definite specifics are obscured, because there are few written records that date back to that time.
Just as every gemstone set into jewelry carries with it a unique meaning, Celtic symbols and signs incorporated into jewelry design further enhance the significance and sentimentality of the piece. Here is an overview of some of the Celtic symbolism used in our collection of Celtic wedding bands.
Triquetra means “triangle” and refers to a symbol consisting of three interlocking marquise diamond shapes (or vesica pisces, to be more precise), as pictured on this ring to the left. Although the symbol pre-dates Christianity, it has come to be associated with the Holy Trinity and is known as a trinity knot. It can also represent other three-pronged meanings, such as: spirit, mind, body; past, present, future; or thought, feeling, emotion. In archaeological digs, this symbol is often seen alongside symbols for the sun and moon, so to the ancient Celts, it may be associated with the solar and lunar phases.
Triskelion literally means “three legged” in Greek and looks like three legs running, as pictured here. The symbol, which has appeared in many places in addition to Celtic art, is said to represent man’s progress and competition. I think a mens Celtic wedding ring with a triskelion symbol would be perfect for an avid runner. It is a symbol that appears always to be in motion, and therefore represents action, moving forward and progress. It is the symbol for Isle of Man, the Celtic nation located between Ireland and Great Britian, as well as Sicily. Fittingly, the motto for the Isle of Man is, “Whithersoever you throw it, it will stand.”
Associated today most strongly with French royalty, the fleur-de-lis depicts a yellow iris flower and dates back to the earliest human civilizations. Fleur-de-lis figures in prominently also with English and Scottish royal designs and is incorporated into the Kingdom of Scotland’s royal coat of arms. The symbol embodies many meanings and is said to resemble little lights or little spearheads. As a plant and flower, it can represent life and purity and has been associated with the Virgin Mary. Like the triquetra and triskelion, the symbol has three parts and can represent a trinity.
Celtic knot symbol
Easily the most popular Celtic symbol is the knot, which is also known as an endless knot or mystic knot. Celtic knots are found widely in Celtic art and are distinctive for their never-ending design with no beginning or end, representing eternity, infinity or longevity. In Tibetan culture, an endless knot can represent eternal love or friendship, the intertwining of wisdom and compassion, or the Buddhist cycle of life, death and rebirth. We offer several styles of Celtic knot rings, with one such design pictured here. This style is popular for a wedding ring or promise ring for both men and women at 6mm wide and is available in 14kt gold, 18kt gold or platinum.
Now that you’ve had a taste of what the possibilities are for a unique wedding ring, a plain wedding band seems rather boring now, doesn’t it? It may be of interest to note that some of our clients purchase more than one wedding ring for themselves — a wedding ring for everyday use and another one for special occasions. A backup ring is not a bad idea, too, considering how many men seem to lose their wedding rings!