Women's Jewellery | The Reconnoisseur

A new twist on an iconic Irish emblem

A traditional design gets the John Rocha treatment

A new twist on an iconic Irish emblem

May 31 2010
Damian Foxe

Like most Irish people I am fiercely nationalistic, so I tend to support anything or anyone with even the vaguest connection to that dear old Emerald Isle. One of its most iconic style statements is the claddagh ring, which, for those of you who have never seen one, takes the form of a crowned heart held between two hands set into a simple gold or silver band.

Dating back to the 17th century, this is traditionally worn with the heart pointing inwards to indicate that your heart is taken, or outwards if your heart is still free. I have always secretly hankered after one but have been put off by the smallness of the ring itself, which is pretty diddy, but also by its predominantly gift-shop appeal.

To my rescue has come fashion designer John Rocha, who has taken the claddagh emblem and completely reworked it. The result is a contemporary and unisex collection of chunky modern jewellery, including oversized rings and super-long chains. All of the pieces come in either gold-plated or brushed silver and are the perfect accompaniment to Rocha’s intellectual and organic clothing designs.

Prices range from £55-£700.