In 1868 in the town of Ardagh, County Limerick, two men were digging for potatoes in a ring fort, believed to protect the potatoes from the blight that brought the famine 30 years earlier. They came across something hard in the soil and when they cleared away the earth they found a chalice and other items buried beneath. What they found was one the finest known examples of medieval Celtic metalwork ever found in Ireland.

 

Stunning Celtic knot detail of the Ardagh Chalice.

The Ardagh chalice was created by master craftsmen in the 8th century. They used many elaborate techniques to create the intricate decorations of gold, silver, glass, amber and enamel ornament on the silver bowl. Most striking is a band of gold filigree around the bowl inscribed with the names of the twelve apostles. The chalice is 17.8 cm high and 19.5 cm in diameter with a handle on either side. The underneath of the foot is also decorated and contains a polished rock crystal in the center.

Rich Celtic knot decoration throughout.

It is thought that the chalice was used to distribute communion at secret Catholic masses held during penal times. It is suggested that, some time during the 10th century one such mass was interrupted by approaching soldiers and the chalice and other items were buried in a hurry in the fort where mass was being said. Those who buried the items never had the opportunity to recover them.

The fort of Ardagh today.

Along with the Ardagh chalice another smaller chalice and four brooches were found buried within the fort. These treasures together are known as the ‘Ardagh Hoard’. Part of the fort where they were found still remains at Ardagh, and the chalice and other items from the Ardagh Hoard can be viewed at The National Museum of Ireland, in Dublin.

The Celtic Shield wedding ring range is inspired by the Celtic knotwork found around the girdle of the chalice and is in the Celtic wedding ring section of our store. Also don’t forget to see our Arda jewelry collection inspired by this stunning artefact.

 

Delivery Options

We ship worldwide every day and offer various shipping options such as Free Shipping (Approx 21 Days, no tracking) as well as Tracked Express Local Carrier Shipping ($17 USD, Approx 12 Days) with local carries with USPS, Royal Mail, Canada Post, Australia Post and other local and national carriers. Please note that shipment times are beyond our control and is up to the local carriers and may take longer as busier times of year such as November & December.

For faster shipping, we also offer FedEx delivery which costs $42 USD. (Approx 5 - 6 days)

We only pay Taxes & Duties for USA shipments.

We offer 45 day returns on all silver purchases (Subject to restock fees, minus shipping costs, see our full T&Cs here). Most gold pieces are made to order so are non-refundable. Please allow up to 3 to 4 weeks for production of custom made pieces.

Please see our full T&Cs here. feel free to contact if you would like to know more about the above.