- "My people... Before I was changed... They exchanged this as a sign of devotion. It's a claddagh ring. The hands represent friendship, the crown represents loyalty... And the heart... Well, you know... Wear it with the heart pointing towards you. It means you belong to somebody. Like this. Put it on."
- ―Angel to Buffy[src]
The Claddagh ring was a birthday gift from Angel to Buffy. Buffy kept it long after Angel lost his soul, finally parting with it when she placed it on the site where she had sent him to hell at his mansion. Moments later, after she left, Angel returned on that exact spot. Just before, Scott Hope presented Buffy with a different Claddagh ring as a friendship ring which he got from a "retro store", an action which, though well-intentioned, wreaked emotional havoc on Buffy given the design's significance.
The ring was a traditional Irish ring given as a token of love or worn as a wedding ring. The design and customs associated with it originated in the Irish fishing village of Claddagh, located just outside the city of Galway. The ring was first produced in the 17th century during Queen Mary II and King William III's joint reign over the United Kingdom. Elements of the design, however, were much older.