Born in the little fishing town of Claddagh, County Galway, Richard Joyce was swept away and enslaved as a goldsmith. When he won his freedom he returned home to his beloved Claddagh. There, he gave his lost love a gold ring depicting his two hands embracing heart – the very first Claddagh ring. The ring became renowned as an emblem of love, loyalty and friendship. When the heart is turned inward it signifies that your heart is taken. When you direct the heart outwards it signifies that you are looking for love.