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The Claddagh ring amongst Hollywood

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It’s been around for more than 300 years, but it took one of Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s undead to bring the centuries-old Irish Claddagh ring to center stage. Known as the Irish wedding band, the ring popped up in a recent Buffy episode when Angel (David Boreanaz) slipped a Claddagh, pronounced CLOD-duh, on the finger of Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) before they consummated their relationship.

Undoubtedly, the Buffster’s illicit tryst would have been frowned on by the ring’s original designer, a 16th-century Irishman from an ancient town called Claddagh who created the ring as a symbol of his love for his bride-to-be. These days, it’s become a chic symbol of Hollywood togetherness: Jennifer Aniston was given one by boyfriend and frequent Friends guest star Tate Donovan. House of Yes star Freddie Prinze Jr. presented one to girlfriend and General Hospital actress Kimberly McCullough. And though it’s not clear who gave Emerald Isle fan Julia Roberts her Claddagh, it’s seen her through many a relationship. (Julia wears her ring with the heart pointing toward the hand, indicating she’s ”taken” — as opposed to the ”available” position, which has it aimed at the fingertip.) The ring even has a cameo in Good Will Hunting.

But it’s the Buffy spot that has significantly upped its profile. Credit goes to Buffy actor Boreanaz, who off camera wears one given to him by his girlfriend, with the inscription ”Without you my love.” What’s inside Buffy’s ring? How do you say, You slay me! in Gaelic?

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