The Meaning of the Irish phrase Anam Cara

Claddagh Design Valentines Day Jewelry

Anam Cara Valentine's Day Commissions

I'm back in the workshop today working on replenishing stock after a very busy Valentine's week! Valentine's Day has always been a busy time for jewelers and silversmiths. This year was no different in the Claddagh Design workshop. We created some really beautiful bespoke jewelry designs as well as updating our online anam cara collection with new engravings and inscriptions. As well as handcrafting the jewelry, we also work with our customers to translate their designs concepts and expressions in order to transfer their ideas to the precious metal jewelry pieces. One of these designs we worked on was a really lovely Men's Anam Cara necklace. I've included a photo of below for you to see.

See more of our Handcrafted Irish Jewelry on our online shop

Silver Men's Anam Cara pendant

The Meaning behind Anam Cara

We made this pendant in solid sterling silver and included the Ogham inscription for Anam Cara. The pendant was made in a sterling silver ingot. We then hammered it by hand to give it this lovely dappled finish. I really like how this finish looks against the Ogham inscription and it reminds me of the beautiful standing stones that the Ogham alphabet was originally carved on to. When looking for the perfect mens gift for Valentine's Day, I'll often suggest 'anam chara' to my customers. Anam is the beautiful Irish word for soul. While cara is the Irish word for friend and so, the phrase translates as soul friend or soulmate.

When I initially came across this phrase, it peaked my interest so I did some research into it. It's such a beautiful phrase and far more meaning than I could fully cover here. The phrase became better known after the publication of the book Anam Cara A Book of Celtic Wisdom written by the late Irish Poet and Philosopher John O' Donohue's. In his book, he describes the phrase wonderfully -

The anam cara was a person to whom you could reveal the hidden intimacies of your life. This friendship was an act of recognition and belonging. When you had an anam cara, your friendship cut across all convention and category. You were joined in an ancient and eternal way with the friend of your soul

It's great that we can say all that and more in just two simple words... Anam Cara! John's book is a fascinating read and one I would recommend for anyone that is interested in Celtic themed ancient teachings and blessings of life. If you are interested in learning more, visit our blog post Anam Cara - What is a Soulmate?

>Update - We have now added this handcrafted Mens Anam Cara Pendant along with our Ladies Anam Cara Pendant on our Online Store.

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