Our best-selling brand is our Celtic Jewelry: Ashling Aine.
It all began when we received a request from an Irish company for Celtic designs. Jim designed 12 items and six of them were selected for the Irish company’s catalog. Jim and I are of Irish and Scottish descent so our interest grew in this line. The line expanded and grew popular as we cornered a niche market.
Soon after, our company employed an Irish widow who proudly came up with the “Ashling Aine” name in honor of her late husband. So, what is the meaning behind the name? Ashling means vision and Aine implies beauty! Within our Ashling Aine jewelry collection you will see a number of different terms that you may not be familiar with. Rich heritage accompanies our designs and we want to make sure that you introduced properly to the world of Celtic Jewelry:
Relating to the Celts or their languages, which constitute a branch of the Indo-European family and include Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Breton, Manx, Cornish, and several extinct pre-Roman languages such as Gaulish.
The Celtic cross is a form of Christian cross featuring a nimbus or ring that emerged in Ireland, France and Britain in the Early Middle Ages. A type of ringed cross, it became widespread through its use in the stone high crosses erected across the islands, especially in regions evangelized by Irish missionaries, from the 9th through the 12th centuries.
The form gained new popularity during the Celtic Revival of the 19th century; the name “Celtic cross” is a convention dating from that time. The shape, usually decorated with interlace and other motifs from Insular art, became popular for funerary monuments and other uses, and has remained so, spreading well beyond Ireland.
Subject to many different interpretations, the Celtic Cross is said to be a representation of knowledge, strength and compassion to manage life’s ups and downs.
In or around 450 AD, before the Celts could be influenced by Christianity, Celtic culture took the form of knots, spirals, plait, braid, step and key patterns to depict richly symbolic seven creations. These creations were: man, mammal, plant, insect, bird, fish, and reptile. Just as each of these symbolizes something important, so do the kinds of Celtic knots.
These knots are complete loops that have no start or finish and could be said to represent eternity whether this means loyalty, faith, friendship or love. Only one thread is used in each design which symbolizes how life and eternity are interconnected. At its most basic, the Celtic knot symbolizes the sign of the Cross. If you look closely at knots with crosses, you will find that the knots hide the crosses between the knot’s ribbons.
The name comes from the Luckenbooths of Edinburgh, where jewelry and trinkets used to be sold. Luckenbooth is a Scottish word for a lockable stall or workshop. The Edinburgh booths were situated on the Royal Mile near St Giles Cathedral. They were the city’s first permanent shops, going back to the 15th century, and initially housing mainly silversmiths and goldsmiths. They were demolished in 1817.
The Luckenbooth became one of the most romantic Scottish symbols of love, and is often given as a token of betrothal, affection and friendship. It is usually in the shape of a heart or two enter twined hearts, symbolizing love, with a crown, symbolizing loyalty, topping the heart(s). In addition, a couple may pin a Luckenbooth to their firstborn’s blanket as a good luck charm.
Claddagh, is the former village across the river Corrib from Galway city, Ireland. Legend describes a fisherman-turned-goldsmith who transformed his undying commitment to the woman he loved into the renowned band of gold. In an area once known as the Fish Market, Claddagh is one of Ireland’s oldest former fishing communities, named after the Irish word for “shore” – an Cladach.
The Irish design features two hands holding a crowned heart that symbolizes friendship, loyalty, and love. The first known use of the jewelry term claddagh was in 1883. Go here to shop at www.ashlingaine.com