Grant Macdonald London | The Rings

“Citius, Altius, Fortius” - Motto of the Olympics, translated from Latin meaning ‘faster, higher, stronger’

With the Olympic Games 2021 Tokyo firmly underway (having been postponed last summer) we’ve got rings on our mind.

The five interlocking rings that symbolise the Olympics were originally created in 1913, with the intention of representing the five continents: Europe, Africa, Asia, America and Oceania. According to the man behind the design, Baron de Coubertin, the rings included the colours composing every competing nation’s flag at the time:

“... the six colours [including the flag's white background] combined in this way reproduce the colours of every country without exception. The blue and yellow of Sweden, the blue and white of Greece, the tricolour flags of France, United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Hungary, and the yellow and red of Spain are included, as are the innovative flags of Brazil and Australia, and those of ancient Japan and modern China. This, truly, is an international emblem.”

— Baron de Coubertin

Our craftsmen are quite familiar with rings themselves. From Grant’s first summer job at W. Hinds, where he repaired and sized jewellery, to his student days crafting cuttlefish-cast signet rings, the symbolism of the silver band has kept the workshop warm and noisy for decades. However, there’s another kind of ring that’s important to us, and that’s the humble napkin ring. 



Napkin rings were originally designed to identify household napkins between wash days - they would be laundered once a week, and the rings allowed guests to claim a napkin as their own, so as not to accidentally use somebody else’s. Families developed unique designs for demonstrating their wealth, and soon napkin rings spread to all countries in the western world, made with bone, wood, pearls and glass - but most often, silver. 

Thankfully, as time has gone on, our hygiene standards have changed, and napkin rings have evolved into an object d’arte, adding a touch of class to the dining table and making the experience of sitting down to eat with friends and family a little more beautiful. 


Our craftsmen have been perfecting the methods we use to create our napkin rings since the 1970s, and as technology has developed, so has the intricacy of our designs. Our sterling silver Paragon napkin rings are created using the latest technology to achieve the delicate open-work effect in eleven distinct designs, before being finished by our craftsmen using traditional techniques to ensure each ring is perfect. 


Explore our Paragon collection to upgrade your table this summer, so you can take the gold with your silverware. Should you desire a bespoke design made for you, we will be delighted to receive your call on +44 (0)20 7633 0278.

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