Dublin Castle, Ireland
Crafted for Royal Claddagh in Dublin by master goldsmiths in the heart of Ireland’s capital city (est. 1907), the Royal Claddagh ring continues the centuries old tradition of the Galway Claddagh dating back to the 17th Century.
All Royal Claddagh rings and jewellery are heirloom quality solid gold and silver, stamped “Made in Ireland“, and more importantly officially assayed: tested for purity, and hallmarked for their quality and Irish origin by the Company of Goldsmiths in Dublin Castle. Genuine Irish Royal Claddagh rings continue a centuries old tradition and legal imperative of official hallmarking in Dublin Castle of all Irish gold, silver and platinum jewellery made in Ireland. This guarantees all its jewellery for authenticity and quality.
Under Irish law in 1637, pre-dating the ring, in the reign of Charles I, all jewellery of precious metals must be stamped with the official hallmark – the traditional letter symbol for the year it was crafted, a fineness mark guaranteeing the purity of the metal, and the official insignia of the Irish Assay Office in Dublin Castle.
The Company of Goldsmiths, as it is called, was formed, when on 22 December 1637 it was granted a charter by Charles I. The orders in this charter continue to this day and continue in the Acts of the modern Irish parliament – Dáil Éireann. It remains an offence to misrepresent the quality of jewellery under Irish law.
“5.-Subject to section 6 of this Act, a person who in the course of trade or business applies to any article which is not of precious metal a description indicating or specifying that the article is made wholly or partly of gold, silver or platinum, or who supplies or offers to supply or has in his possession for sale such an article to which such a description is applied, is guilty of the offence under section 2 of the Merchandise Marks Act, 1887, of applying a false trade description.”Hallmarking Act, 1981.
Royal Claddagh gold rings are hallmarked solid gold. A precious metal, pure gold is too malleable to work with and must be mixed in an alloy before it is strong enough to form jewellery. Carats (ct) in gold refer to the amount of pure gold in the metal. 14 carat (fineness 585) represents 14 parts in 24 – a purer gold than 9ct but remaining a strong durable alloy.
Royal Claddagh gold rings are hallmarked solid gold. A precious metal, pure gold is too malleable to work with and must be mixed in an alloy before it is strong enough to form jewellery. Carats (ct) in gold refer to the amount of pure gold in the metal. 9ct (fineness 375) represents 9 parts gold in 24 – a strong durable alloy with all the beauty and shine of solid gold.
Royal Claddagh silver rings are hallmarked Sterling silver and stamped 925. Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. The minimum millesimal fineness is 925 – a standard of 925 parts of fine silver in each 1000. As with gold, on its own the pure precious silver metal is too weak for jewellery and is always worked as an alloy. The Sterling silver standard is its guarantee of purity.
Dublin Castle, where every ring must still be hallmarked. was the seat of British rule in Ireland until 1922. While the building itself mainly dates from eighteenth century, a castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland. The Castle served as the seat of British government of Ireland under the Lordship of Ireland (1171-1541), Kingdom of Ireland (1541-1800) and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1800-1922).
It fulfilled a number of roles over the centuries. It was first and foremost a royal residence, resided in by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland or Viceroy of Ireland, the representative of the King or Queen. The Viceregal Apartments (now called the State Apartments) remain one of the most splendid sites in Dublin, and are the location of the inauguration of the President of Ireland. The second in command in the Dublin Castle administration, the Chief Secretary of Ireland, also had his offices there. Over the years, parliament and the law courts met there, before moving to new purpose-built venues. It also served as a military garrison.
Every Royal Claddagh in the world has been here first.