Story of Irish Jewellery
The whisper of romance lingers within every Claddagh. A gift of love, Crafted in Ireland it echoes a tale of devotion retold over the centuries.
Once upon a time, so the story goes a young Irish sailor was captured and sold into slavery. Far from his native land, he held the memory of his sweetheart deep in his heart. He never forgot her. Years later, on his safe return to Galway his gift to her was a Claddagh Ring. Forged with the skills he learnt during his imprisonment, it was a token of his enduring love. “With these hands I give you my heart and I crown it with my love”. The Claddagh holds the memory of true love that can last forever.
You can add you own chapter to the story even now by how you wear it. On your right hand with its heart facing outwards, it shows that you own heart is not yet taken. Turn its heart inwards and you’ll let admirers know that love is a possibility. But if you wear it on your left hand, with its heart turned inwards towards you own, there can be no doubt. It tells the world: two hearts have joined together forever. Wear it and be part of a never ending love story.
Each piece of Solvar Claddagh Jewellery is a timeless and romantic Celtic gift to cherish for generations.
THE CELTIC CROSS
Standing tall in the landscape. Rooted in the Irish soil. And yet reaching for the sky. Since early times, the Celtic Cross has marked sacred places all over Ireland.
Each one has its own tale to tell- with stories from scripture, carved in stone, preserved for future generations. From the shores of Lough Neagh and the Cathedral city of Armagh, to the monasteries of Clonmacnoise and Monasterboice, these high crosses are powerful symbols of early Christianity in Ireland.
One legend tells how St Patrick saw a pagan standing stone imprinted with a circle, the symbol of the moon goddess. He is said to have blessed the stone, marking it with a Latin cross- thus creating the first Celtic Cross.
Whatever the story, the Celtic Cross pays tribute to those ancient Celts whose legacy remains. And for all to see, it is a powerful symbol of faith. Now the story continues with those who wear a Celtic Cross. In doing so, we remember the precious heritage of Ireland. This land that has always been the home of saints and scholars.
THE IRISH SHAMROCK
In ancient times, a tiny three-leafed plant bloomed far and wide and laid a carpet of green all over the limestone hills of Ireland. The druids knew the Shamrock has mystical powers. To them its three leaves were a natural sign of a sacred number. This little plant was even said to warn of an approaching storm by turning up its leaves.
According to legend, St Patrick himself plucked a Shamrock from the ground to explain his belief in the Trinity. They say this helped convert the Irish people to Christianity. Many believed that wearing this little green sprig of green would keep them from harm.
Over the centuries that have elapsed since then, the Shamrock has become an instantly recognisable emblem of the Emerald Isle.
Whatever the truth of the legends, the shamrock is cherished by Irish people everywhere and is worn by all nationalities around the world on Saint Patricks Day, one of the great international festivals.
The legend of the Shamrock lives on today in Solvar’s quality Irish craftsmanship. Inspired by ancient Celtic traditions and expertly created in Ireland, our exquisite designs reflect the country’s rich cultural heritage.
CELTIC KNOT - ETERNAL LOVE
Many centuries ago, in an Irish Monastery, the Celtic Knot was created on the pages of illuminated manuscripts. From dawn till dusk, monks would work with infinite care to illustrate the gospels, stopping only to eat and pray.
This patience and devotion produced the richly decorated knot work which today is instantly recognizable as Irish.
Celtic culture is interwoven with stories and the Celtic Knot tells a tale of enduring love. It reflects the convergence of mind, body and spirit – a message which is powerful and mystical today as it was in those ancient times.
Today the Book of Kells remains a testimony to the artistry which produced this lasting legacy.
The twists and turns of the Celtic Knot symbolise the timeless nature of the human spirit. With no beginning and no end, this intricate decorations a sign of eternal life and never ending love.
The gift of a Celtic Knot pays homage to the skill of those craftsmen from a bygone era, and to Irish ancestry. Solvar’s master designers have carefully crafted the intricate decorations from yesteryear into many timeless pieces of Jewellery to continue this rich cultural legacy.
THE IRISH HARP
Long, long ago in Ireland, the sound of the Irish Harp echoed round the courts of kings and chieftains. No feast or noble gathering was complete without a bard providing entertainment for the guests.
In ancient times these wandering minstrels travelled far and wide around the country, playing for anyone who would listen. Irish harpers carried with them the legends and stories of their native land, keeping their culture alive.
Such was the power of their sweet melodies that strong men might weep or be lulled to sleep. The haunting music of the harp could woo beautiful ladies or persuade their admirers to grant any favour.
Today the Irish Harp still retains its power. It is recognized worldwide as the emblem of Irish national identity and pride.
Those who wear it show they still know how to listen between the lines of a soulful melody. The music of the Irish Harp tells the true history of the Irish People.
THE ST. BRIGID'S CROSS
St. Brigid was a contemporary of St. Patrick who founded a monastery in Kildare in the 6th century. It is said that she converted her father to Christianity while making a cross from rushes. In those early Christian times the farmers adopted the custom of making these same crosses at the beginning of spring to protect their holding, placing them in prominent positions in their houses and buildings.
The tradition of making the crosses on the 1st February, St. Brigid's Feast Day, continues to the present day.
THE TARA BROOCH
The Irish tradition of metal working goes back over three thousand years to the Bronze Age. In those days, everyday items, such as swords and knives, were made of iron. However, bronze, silver and gold were used in the design of brooches, pins, rings, buckles, crosses and chalices.
The Tara Brooch is a classic example of Bronze Age craftsmanship. Discovered around 1850 in Bettystown, Co. Meath, it is exquisitely made in silver and gilt, decorated with interlacing patterns, spiral and trumpet devices, silver framed glass studs and gold filigree.
Connemara Marble is referred to "Ireland's Gem Stone" as it is a very unique and rare form of Marble and can only be found in the West of Ireland. It is estimated to be over 600 million years old. It is the presence of various natural elements in the limestone that gives Connemara marble its rich and beautiful colours. This beautiful marble offers a range of colour tones. From the lighter, paler shades of green, all the way to rich dark emerald tones. How fitting for Ireland that one of its natural treasures is the only green marble known to exist!