The Romantic Trend of Contemporary Toi Et Moi Rings

August 6, 2023   |  Beth Bernstein

These two-stone styles, which hit their height of popularity in the Edwardian era, are experiencing a revival.

Between 2020 and 2022, a trend toward toi et moi rings was ignited. Ariana Grande’s oval diamond and pearl engagement ring and Megan Fox’s emerald and diamond double pear-shaped engagement ring brought this historical piece back into the spotlight. Fox’s is edgier, designed by Stephen Webster and Grande’s features what is reportedly her grandmother’s pearl added to the diamond in her ring.

The direction continues evolving with different pairings of cuts and gemstones. Enchantingly romantic, the French toi et moi translates to “you and me,” named for how the original two stones sat side by side. Designers feature a variety of combinations, and some have modified the silhouette to reflect a more modern vibe.

Jemma Wynne mix of 18 karat gold toi et moi rings. (Jemma Wynne)
Jemma Wynne mix of 18-karat gold toi et moi rings. (Jemma Wynne)

Such is the case of Jemma Wynne, which launched its version of the style in 2014, long before the trend hit. “Our inspiration was more personal,” says Stephanie Wynne Lalin, co-owner with Jenny Klatt. “Jenny wanted to update her engagement ring for her anniversary, and we loved the idea of adding a second diamond as a reminder of another special moment in her life. All of our toi et moi rings were originally made with an open design, which became our signature style. Our clients loved that it could be customized with different stones to represent each member of a couple’s marriage or anniversary, or a mother celebrating a child’s birth. The options seem to be endless.”

Sylva & Cie 18-karat gold toi-et-moi ring with a white cushion diamond and grey pear-shaped diamond. (Sylva & Cie)

Other companies such as Kwiat, Effy, Sylva & Cie, Maggi Simpkins, and Tap by Todd Pownell have created contemporary pairings yet more traditional takes on the side-by-side silhouette. Sylva Yepremian, designer of Sylva & Cie, mixes diamond shapes and colored gemstones. “What’s most captivating about these rings is how the scale and the stones play together and what the stones represent in a relationship,” she explains.

Intimate relationships get celebrated in this design. Benny Hematian, president of Effy, says, “We select stones with an eye to contrast, in shape or color, to celebrate individuality and the possibility of a beautiful life when two distinct but loving hearts come together.”

Effy one-of-a-kind, 14-karat white gold customized pear and oval shaped toi et moi ring. (Effy)
Effy one-of-a-kind, 14-karat white gold customized pear and oval shaped toi et moi ring. (Effy)


The most famous toi et moi ring was the one Napoléon Bonaparte gave to Joséphine de Beauharnais in 1796. She became his first wife three weeks later. The ring bore a pear-shaped sapphire and a pear-shaped diamond set together in a yellow gold ring. Due to the proximity of the stones, the ring represented two souls becoming one. The gems were opposite facing. Although the marriage ended, Joséphine kept the ring and passed it down to her daughter Hortense, later queen of Holland. It then went to Hortense’s son, Napoléon III, and his wife, Empress Eugénie. When it went up for auction in France at Osenat House, the anonymous winning bidder paid $949,000, almost 50 times the $20,000 Osenat estimate.

Joséphine de Beauharnais's toi et moi ring sold at Osenat House. (Osenat House)
Joséphine de Beauharnais’s toi et moi ring sold at Osenat House. (Osenat House)

Toi et moi rings hit the height of popularity in the Edwardian era, in platinum over gold or solid platinum, the most recognizable of which featured two stones of similar size. And due to their sentimental meaning, they became coveted engagement rings throughout the 20th century.  The stones in the earlier rings are often paired to symbolize different romantic symbolism. The diamond for eternal love, sapphire for fidelity, ruby for passion and emerald for prosperity.

During the 1930s through the mid-20th century and beyond, designers began to mix different cuts and added new precious gems and natural colored diamonds to the mix. A couple’s birthstones were the most popular gems to pair. In the later part of the century, the rings were bolder. They were still given as engagement rings but also for anniversaries, the birth of a child, birthdays and other special occasions.

Main image: Maggi Simpkins one-of-a-kind toi et moi style ring featuring one 1.25-carat, Asscher-cut, champagne, natural diamond and one 1.15-carat, pear-shape, salt and pepper natural diamond. (Maggi Simpkins)



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The Romantic Trend of Contemporary Toi Et Moi Rings

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