You have probably encountered this style of jewellery before without even realising, a ring set with two gemstones either harmonious or opposing in colour, usually set opposite across the crown of the ring but can also sit side by side as shown above. Prior to collecting and selling antique jewellery, I would have appreciated the ring above purely for it's aesthetically pleasing appearance, without being aware of the particulars of it's historical significance. Toi Et Moi, You & Me The phrase toi et moi is French, translating to you and me. The wording alone, simple but effective, hints at the romantic symbolism tied into this style of ring and is quite literal with the placement of gemstones; Two gemstones side by side coiled around a band to represent the two people as one. The style is steeped in history and provenance while remaining a timeless and classic way to say be mine.
Image Source; The daily mail
Gemstones The gemstones used vary widely with taste and significance. A popular choice is using the intendeds birthstone coupled with a diamond for the ultimate in romance and bespoke personalisation. A modern take on the toi et moi is Megan Fox's ring designed by Machine Gun Kelly; Her ring features two pear cut gemstones, an emerald and a diamond, side by side. The emerald is her birthstone while the diamond is his birthstone. The use of the pear cut gemstones feels faintly familiar, looking back to the original toi et moi designed by Napoleon Bonparte and that ring also uses an arrangement of two pear cut gemstones on the crown of the ring.
Image Source ; Machine Gun Kelly's Instagram @Machinegunkelly Historically the style you are most likely to encounter is two different gemstones, set side by side, however styles do exist where the stones are both the same particularly in Art Deco era jewellery with two diamonds seen set together on a platinum band. Historical Toi Et Moi Rings There is no place better to start than with the fabulous and highly coveted original Toi Et Moi gifted to Empress Josephine by Napoleon Bonaparte himself on his proposal. In 1796 Napoleon Bonaparte used one of these very rings to propose, the ring in question featuring two pear shaped gemstones of Sapphire and diamond set into a gold band. Fast forward from the 18th century into the 19th, 20th and 21st, and these rings are still popularised and chosen for engagement rings.
Image Source; Daily Mail, Napoleon Bonparte engagement ring gifted to Empress Josephine on their engagement. The ring features two pear cut gemstones, a sapphire and a diamond with the engraving with 'you and me forever' Another jewel that pushed the popularity of this ring style back into vogue was the ring given to Jacqueline Kennedy on her engagement to John Kennedy. The ring was a Van Cleef & Arpels design, consisting of a 2.84-carat emerald and a 2.88-carat diamond for the 'Toi et moi', while baguette-cut diamonds and emeralds featured on the shank.
Image Source ; Vogue magazine. Jackie Kennedy's 'Toi et moi' engagement ring featuring an emerald and a diamond gemstone arrangement ..................................... The ring gifted from Napoleon Bonparte to Josephine is my favourite from the ones featured here, and also my favourite out of the jewels we've viewed for the article. The gorgeous setting around the pear shaped gemstones is completely swoonworthy, and the history behind it makes it all the more special. What do you think of Toi et moi rings ? Would you be happy to receive one as an engagement ring? Or are they best left as a sentiment rather than engagement ring? Let us know what you think in the comments below!