Rings are the jewelry item I lack the most. It's not because I don't like rings. It's actually because I bought a goodly amount of cheap rings as a teenager, but have since left most of them at my parents' house. Instead I cherish a select few, most of which I blasphemously wear on my left ring finger. I use my right hand to write with, so wearing rings on the right always makes me feel rather uncomfortable unless I am going out for a daytrip or at night with friends. If I start out wearing rings on my right hand at the beginning of the day by mid-morning they always end up in my pocket, my boot (for safekeeping if I don't have any pockets), my desk, or my left hand anyway.
The first ring is a little hard to see. It looks like a plain silver ring, but it actually has the inscription "Fear Not" carved on it. The phrase has religious connotations for me- it is what the archangel Gabriel first said to the Virgin Mary when he came to deliver his message of her Immaculate Conception. I've had this ring since I was a teenager and, although it is rather tarnished and scratched, I wear it still as encouragement whenever I feel as if I am getting a bit afraid of what life's throwing at me.
The next set are my beloved cameo rings, both purchased within the last 18 months. The larger of the two is from Forever 21. It goes perfectly with several of my steampunk outfits. The smaller pink one on the right was purchased at an open-air stall in Riga, Latvia, this past September. I think I got ripped off on the price. But the smaller one is nice when I'm not in the mood to wear the clunkier one on the left.
This next ring is a particularly unique one- a copper bejeweled flower with an enamel butterfly hovering above it. I purchased this one in a village in France when I was 17, and always receive compliments whenever I wear it. I would wear this one more often than I do except it's actually rather uncomfortable- it rubs against the pinkie and middle fingers as well as the knuckle beneath my ring finger. It also leaves a nice green ring around my ring finger after even short uses. Despite these drawbacks I will probably never get rid of this ring- it makes me think of France and spring every time I see it.
This next ring is the most valuable, price-wise, in my collection of not only rings but of jewelry in general. As a result I am wary of wearing it anywhere except to church or wedding receptions. It was once my Aunt Mary's, who died of ovarian cancer over eight years ago. While my aunt herself did not give away any of her personal belongings to her nieces and nephews, my grandmother did, giving each of my three sisters and I one precious stone ring out of her collection to remember her by. This ring is a slender gold band adorned with three small sapphires.
This final ring is the most precious to me personally. It's a genuine Irish Claddagh. My mother purchased it when she was backpacking through Ireland with some college friends nearly 30 years ago. My mom used to let my sisters and I take turns wearing this ring on St. Paddy's Day. I loved it so much that I yearned to have one of my own. So when I was in junior high or high school I began a quiet search for one just like hers. Unfortunately I am not fond of the thin bands on the Claddaghs I've seen here in the U.S., so I could never find one I liked as much as my mother's. I finally told my mother how much I loved her Claddagh and was disappointed I was that I couldn't find one just like hers when she verbally gave it to me on the spot (we were at an open-air market in Charleston, SC at the time, so I couldn't physically receive it until we returned to Pennsylvania nearly one week later.)
I wear this ring practically all the time- so much so that some people thought it was a clandestine engagement ring, while others yelled at me when I was single for wearing it on my left hand instead of the appropriate right hand. I do wear the crown pointed in the correct direction for whatever my dating status is at the time though.
While I do have another Claddagh- a gift from a close high school friend- it is one of those thin-banded ones of which I am not so fond, and it just doesn't feel right wearing it. My mother's Claddagh is just so special to me in a way I can't explain that another Claddagh would never do.
Does anyone else have a Claddagh? If so, how do you wear it?