The History of the Olympic Rings

Sapphire and diamond full eternity ring.
Ref: 10581
Sapphire and diamond full eternity ring.
Ref: 10581
Ruby and diamond band ring in platinum.
Ref: 10580
Diamond eternity ring, by Oscar Heyman Bros.
Ref: 14611
Emerald and diamond full eternity ring.
Ref: 10653

Tuesday 10th April 2012

At Berganza we are always interested in antique rings and, especially in light of the London Olympics, the Olympic rings are no exception!

Though the modern Olympic Games were established in 1896, the now widely recognized symbol of the Olympics—the five interlocking multi-coloured rings—did not come into use until 1913.  The symbol was designed by Pierre de Coubertin (1863-1937), the man behind the re-establishment of the games.  The design first appeared in the form of a hand-coloured drawing at the top of a piece of his own plain letterhead.   In this earliest version the rings were linked in a single curved row, but soon they were rearranged to appear as they do today, interlaced to show the universality of Olympism.  The five rings were meant to represent the five continents, whence came the competing nations.  In fact, part of the reason the symbol did not come about until 1913 is that it was only in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics that athletes from five continents came to compete.  The six colours—blue, yellow, black, green, red and the white ground—were meant to represent the flags of all nations.

We wish all of the British athletes in this year’s games the best of luck.

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A long established retailer of fine period jewellery, Berganza the jewellers is based in the heart of Hatton Garden, London’s historic jewellery quarter. We specialise in the finest examples of ancient, antique and vintage engagement rings- each one unique, hand crafted and expertly created. We are proud to have one of the largest collections of antique and vintage diamond engagement rings as well as natural gemstone engagement rings in the world, our inventory boasts over two thousand rings. We are fascinated by the history, myth, tradition and design of engagement rings and their evolution over the last two millennia.

We believe in only offering exceptional pieces from each design period, from Ancient Roman intaglio seal rings, Viking twisted rings through to rare gem-set Medieval pieces, Georgian, ornate Victorian, elegant Edwardian, bold Art Deco and retro vintage designs. Each piece has a unique historical background and dates to a time when jewellery was crafted by hand in the days before mass-production, so no two are alike. We deal in rarity and as such have a vast collection of posy rings, the precursors to 'modern' wedding rings, which are most often only available to be viewed in museums. Berganza also has an extensive selection of other types of jewellery such as antique earrings from simple stud earrings through to ornate drop earrings, the finest quality from each of the historical design periods. Another specialty are antique and vintage one-off signed pieces of jewellery by the most famous of jewellery houses such as Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Oscar Heyman Brothers and Boucheron but to name a few. These pieces of jewellery ooze the glamour of bygone eras and are highly sought after today.

Every item of jewellery is set with hand cut diamonds or natural and unenhanced gemstones, often from mines long since depleted. We are proud to include in our compilation, jewellery set with old mine diamonds from India and Brazil, Burmese rubies, Colombian emeralds and Kashmir, Ceylon and Burmese sapphires. Our team of specialists are trained in all aspects of gemmology and history of jewellery design, so we are able to select the finest quality pieces of jewellery for our extensive one-of-a-kind stock. Our expertise in this area is unparalleled and our shared passion for antique jewellery is paramount to our business.

88-90 HATTON GARDEN, London, EC1N 8PN, England

Telephone +44 (0)20 7430 0393 / +44 (0)20 7404 2336

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