Celtic Friendship Symbols: 3 Of The Most Appropriate Designs (For Tattoos Or Otherwise!)

Everything you need to know!

celtic friendship symbols
Photo left: Oliver Hoffmann. Right: zizar (Shutterstock)
Out of the many symbol-related emails we get each week, ones asking about Celtic friendship symbols are the most frequent.

There’s a lot of confusion online when it comes to the Celtic symbol for friendship, and if you’ve read our guide to

Celtic symbols and their meanings, you’ll know why.

Many online businesses have invented (literally) symbols that they claim were made by the Celts… talk about dishonesty!

They do it in an attempt to get people to buy their crap merchandise and/or tattoo designs. Don’t be one of the many people that are duped by these chancers!

In the guide below, we’ll offer an insight into the most appropriate Celtic friendship symbols along with some more recent Irish symbols that are just as good.

Celtic Friendship Symbols

As I mentioned previously, there are a number of artist impressions online of what people believe the Celtic symbol for friendship would have looked like.

Below, I’m going to show you some symbols (both Irish and Celtic) that can easily represent the bond between two friends.

The Celtic Friendship Knot

celtic friendship knot
Photo by TotemArt (Shutterstock)

The most appropriate Celtic friendship symbol is the one pictured above, in my opinion. Those of you familiar with the Trinity Knot will immediately recognise it from the image above.

Also known as the Triquetra, the design depicts a circle interwoven with a never-ending three-pointed symbol.

With no beginning and no end, the Trinity Knot symbolizes unity and eternal spiritual life. It’s also said to represent the unity of spirit when it’s enclosed in a circle. 

It’s not hard to see why this is seen as one of the most appropriate Celtic friendship symbols, as it can signify an everlasting bond between mates.

The Celtic Symbol for Friendship that’s Inspired by the Trinity

celtic symbol for friendship
Photo by Oliver Hoffmann (Shutterstock)

This, in my opinion, is the best Celtic symbol for friendship. It’s also a strong contender for the most appropriate Celtic symbol for love.

Now, I just want to state from the get-go that this isn’t an original symbol from the Celts – it’s an artists impression.

As you can see from the image above, this Celtic friendship knot is an adaption of the Triquetra. The only difference is that a heart is used rather than a circle.

You tend to see this symbol appear in jewellery and in tattoo designs, due to its aesthetically appealing design.

The Claddagh: Is it a Celtic Friendship Ring? Kind of, but not Really!

Celtic Friendship Ring
Photo left: GracePhotos. Right: GAMARUBA (Shutterstock)

You’ll often hear the Claddagh described as a Celtic friendship ring, but there’s nothing that links it to the Celts.

In fact, as you’ll see if you read our guide to the Claddagh Ring, the design was invented by a lad from Galway that was kidnapped by pirates.

The Claddagh tends to be used to symbolize a number of things, depending on how it’s worn on the finger.

It can symbolise that the wearer is happily single, in love, engaged, or married. I’ve also known mothers to give a Claddagh to their daughter when she turns 16.

I’ve only heard of a Claddagh Ring being given as a present between friends on a number of occasions. I’ve heard of friends giving those break-in-half Claddagh necklaces as gifts far more frequently.

You know the ones – one person keeps half of the pendant while the other person keeps the other half.

Celtic Friendship Tattoo Designs

Good God there are some terrible Celtic friendship tattoos out there. You can blame the vast majority of them on the dodgy designs floating around online.

As I mentioned in our guide to the Celtic symbol for strength, don’t be fooled into believing some elaborate and/or far-fetched design is one of the original ancient designs.

There are a very finite number of designs that were created by the Celts – there haven’t been any new ones in a long… LONG time!

if you’re scouring the many different Celtic friendship tattoo designs online and you’re wondering which to select, thread carefully.

Personally, I think the one above with the heart embedded into it is the most accurate (and aesthetic), but once you’re happy, who cares!

Have a question about the Celtic friendship symbols that we haven’t answered? Ask away in the comments section below!

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