There are many Irish traditions that are depicted in jewelry and other Irish gifts. In addition, many of these gifts are made of precious materials native to Ireland, such as Irish linen and lace, Connemara marble and Waterford crystal.
Popular Irish Symbols and Themes
- Most of us are familiar with the shamrock. St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, used the three leaves of the shamrock to explain the Catholic belief in the Holy Trinity.
- Harps are another Irish theme. It is believed to have originated with traveling singers and storytellers, who played the harp.
- The Claddagh is a symbol of love, friendship and loyalty. According to legend, a young man from Claddagh was enslaved and taken from Ireland. He became a goldsmith and designed the Claddagh ring for his sweetheart. After many years he was freed and returned to find his sweetheart still waiting for him in Claddagh.
- The Celtic cross also represents the Holy Trinity, the Catholic belief that there is one God in three Divine persons, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It has a circle that represents eternity and is often embellished with intertwined loops, also symbolizing eternity.
Irish Jewelry for Men and Women
- There are hundreds of websites that feature Irish Claddagh rings for men and women, as well as brooches and cufflinks and other jewelry. The heart symbolizes love, the crown above it loyalty, and the hands joined underneath, friendship.
- The Celtic cross is a popular pendant both for women and men. Different sizes, metals and stylized versions are available.
- The Irish prayer locket comes with a special poem. A special prayer is written on a tiny piece of paper and inserted into the locket. The locket is a reminder that God is the answer to all prayers. The lockets come in gold, silver, pewter and in all price ranges.
- Another Irish jewelry theme is the Celtic heart, also called the eternity knot, or lover’s knot, which is decorated with intertwining loops representing two lovers who join their lives for eternity.
- The triqueta knot, or St. Brigid’s cross, is another symbol of the Holy Trinity, with three loops that form a triangle. According to legend, St. Brigid fashioned the first cross of straw and performed a miraculous healing. It is easy to find many such crosses by searching under the terms “triqueta,” or “St. Brigid’s cross.”
Irish Heraldry and Genealogy Gifts
Numerous websites not only offer gifts embellished with your Irish family crest, but also will help you find your family coat of arms and explain its symbolism. Gifts embellished with the family crest include plaques, jewelry and even glassware. Search under “Irish Coat of Arms” you will find these items and many more.
Irish Linen Handkerchiefs
Ireland is famous for its fine linen and lace. If you search under “Irish lace handkerchiefs” there are several websites that feature exquisite, heirloom quality gifts for ladies.
Some of the linen handkerchiefs are bordered with intricate Irish lace in traditional Irish patterns, such as shamrocks, bells and flowers. These are gifts in themselves or can be embellished with embroidery and presented as a personalized gift. Other handkerchiefs are already hand embroidered with Irish designs, such as shamrocks and harps.
Religious Gifts for St. Patrick’s Day
Nothing is more treasured by devout Irish Catholic woman than the rosary, which is composed of prayer beads in five groups of ten that honor the life of the Virgin Mary. In addition to the full rosary, Irish rosaries can be found in a small form, with ten beads (a “decade”) or as a bracelets with ten beads.
Irish rosaries come in simple materials, or can be made of such precious materials as green Connemara marble from the Connemara Mountains of Ireland or Waterford Crystal, one the world’s finest makers of crystal. Many rosaries feature beads in the form of shamrocks and use the Celtic cross. Although expensive beads are not considered any more sacred than humbly fashioned rosary beads, beautiful rosaries are often handed down as heirlooms by mothers to daughters and grand daughters.
Irish Books and Music
There are innumerable books about Irish history, folklore and Celtic symbols and legends. Some interesting titles include:
- The Irish Book of Arms, Genealogy & Heraldry (a collection)
- The Story of Irish Dance, with over 200 Irish songs and dances, by Hal Leonard
- Irish Saints, by Robert T. Reilly
There are many famous Irish Blessings that appear in greeting cards for all occasions. In addition to the familiar ones, there are innumerable Irish prayers and blessings that are beautifully printed in frames, on plaques or printed or engraved on keepsakes. Simply search under “Irish blessings” and you find all kinds of gifts featuring special Irish blessings and sayings.
It is Easy to Find Both Sentimental and Religious St. Patrick’s Day Gifts
The Irish are sentimental, creative, devoutly religious and artistic. Ireland is famous for its high quality linen, lace, marble and crystal. It is easy to find but difficult to chose among the lovely gifts that you can buy for someone who is precious to you on St. Patrick’s Day.