The components of the Claddagh ring each represent different qualities of the wearer, including the heart for love, the hands for friendship and the crown for loyalty. The way the ring is worn symbolizes the wearer's availability for a romantic relationship.
If the ring is on the right hand with the heart facing out, the person is open to a relationship. When the heart faces inward towards the body, the person is already in a relationship. On the left hand, the ring symbolizes either an engagement or marriage depending on the way the heart faces. Many legends swirl around the origin of the first Claddagh ring, but each legend features true love and loyalty.