By Marion Fasel
One glorious diamond has long been the iconic centerpiece of engagement rings. A single stone is such an accepted foundation for the all-important love jewel that the term “solitaire ring” is used as a synonym for engagement rings. But lately we have been seeing double in the engagement ring category. Two-stone rings have become a glorious alternative to the single center stone.
The style is often referred to as a Toi et Moi ring. Toi et Moi, which means “You and Me,” is never translated when referring to the design. French is very much the language of jewelry as well as love. Usually, the two-stone or Toi et Moi rings are composed of diamonds of about the same size, but nowadays there are a number of variations. More on that in a moment. First let’s review how the historic look came back into vogue.
Two-stone rings initially reemerged as a big deal for millennial brides when mega-influencer-model-actress Emily Ratajkowski showed off her stunner from Sebastian Bear-McClard on July 18, 2018. Emrata clearly adores the ring, which is set with a princess-cut and pear-shape diamond on a gold band, and has continuously put it front and center in her Instagram posts to her 28 million-plus followers. The couple worked on the gigantic one-of-a-kind jewel with the designer of Alison Lou, Alison Chemla.
Another major double-gem engagement ring moment for a millennial bride came on December 20, 2020 when Ariana Grande debuted her engagement ring from Dalton Gomez on Instagram. The jewel made by Solow & Co. has an oval-shaped diamond and a pearl from a sentimental family ring in Grande’s collection. It caused a sensation and became one of Instagram’s most popular posts of all time with over 15 million likes.
Ratajkowski and Grande catapulted two-stone engagement ring styles to a high level of desirability for a new generation, but the look is nothing new. It has roots dating back to the eighteenth century and one of the most famous couples in the world.
France’s Napoleon and Joséphine originally popularized Toi et Moi engagement rings. The gold ring Napoleon presented to his true love in 1796 had a pear-shape diamond and sapphire of about equal size set next to one another in cut-down button-back settings. The point of each stone was set in different directions.
Former First Lady Jackie Kennedy is the most famous modern bride to have a two-stone engagement ring. The Van Cleef & Arpels ring she received from President Kennedy, when he was a young senator in 1953, was set with an emerald cut emerald and an emerald cut diamond. Both gems weighed almost three carats. Around ten years later when she was famously redesigning the White House, Mrs. Kennedy had Van Cleef & Arpels reset the two gems in her engagement ring with a laurel wreath of marquise shape diamonds on the band flanking the two gems.
Today, far and away the most popular style of two-stone engagement rings feature two diamonds. Some have two different shapes of diamonds, which often touch each other in the mounting, but are other times spaced apart. It’s a mode that has been in the Jemma Wynne collection for many years.
Jenny Klatt, who designs the collection along with Stephanie Wynne, says they came up with the idea when she wanted to redesign her engagement ring. “I wasn’t wearing my ring because the setting was too fancy and traditional feeling,” explains Klatt. “For the new design we mimicked the shape of our open bangles in the ring and put two Asscher cut diamonds on the ends. When it was done, I knew I would wear it all the time.” It’s a story that proves the point while two-stone rings have roots in history the freshness of the look now makes it as appealing as it is glamorous.