Perhaps considered as one of the most romantic rings of all time, the Toi et Moi ring is rich in history, yet still has a place in modern, contemporary jewelry.
Toi et Moi, meaning ‘you and me’ in French, might be some of the most romantic and simple words someone could hear from a love one. Having these words translated into a ring is even more romantic! Toi et Moi rings are made with two stones that are set next to each other without ever touching and on the same ring. Historically, these stones were of similar size and shape, but contemporary designers are playing with this design.
One of the first Toi et Moi rings mentioned in jewelry history is that of Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1796, Napoleon was a revolutionary soldier in the French army. Napoleon offered to his first wife, Josephine de Beauharnais a gorgeous Toi et Moi ring. At the time, Josephine was 6 years older than him, with 2 children from a previous marriage. Napoleon’s family was none too pleased about this union, but nothing could stop the two lovebirds. The Toi et Moi ring was made in gold, with a delicate band holding a pear shaped sapphire and an antique pear shaped diamond. Each weigh just under 1-carat. Though they divorced in 1810, this ring is still a strong symbol of romance and love. In 2013, the ring sold for just under $1 million at Osenat, a French auction house!
Many of the antique Toi et Moi rings are made with a ruby and a diamond. The diamond symbolizes love and prosperity while the ruby represents passion and devotion. The whole ring represents two souls becoming one.
These antique pieces are still popular today, but many contemporary designers are revamping this style. As mentioned, traditionally Toi et Moi rings would have similar size and cut stones, but now, designers are mixing this. You’ll find Toi et Moi rings with different gemstones, cuts and sizes. Rings might be off balance, with the two stones separate from each other on the setting. One popular rendition of the Toi et Moi is Dior’s Diorama Precieuse. Here you have an oval semi precious gemstone set with a large space between a much smaller pear shaped diamond. Alexandre Reza set gorgeous oval-cut stones in a Toi et Moi setting, so did Valerie Messika with a white and yellow pear-cut diamonds or even the American designer Jemma Wynne who presented during the last Parisian Fashion Week colored stones and various cuts Toi et Moi combinaisons.
This modern version of the Toi et Moi ring still evokes a romantic feel, but just in a more contemporary setting. The romantic nature of a Toi et Moi ring will always be present, regardless of if it is a true antique, or a contemporary piece! Be sure to consider this lovely style when looking for an engagement ring for your love.