Despite their relatively recent popularity, toi et moi rings have long been held in high regard in the jewelry world. French for “you and me,” the toi et moi ring is a dramatic style with a deeply romantic sentiment behind it. The epitome of an unconventional style with a modern and daring aesthetic, learn about what sets the toi et moi ring apart and see if it could be your perfect engagement ring style.
Toi et Moi Engagement Rings
What Is a Toi et Moi Ring?
The look of the toi et moi ring features an incredibly unique mix and placement of two stones. Usually, the classic toi et moi design displays two stones of similar size set side-by-side in a harmonious way. The pair of center stones either sit atop a traditional band or are featured on either end of an open cuff ring so the stones either barely touch or leave space between them.
The two stones featured together of similar size and significance signifies the coming together of two equal partners, ready to build a life together. The doubling of gemstones creates quite a substantial look, and when the two stones are the same gemstone, it can create the optical illusion of one large center stone.
With so much to know, it helps to have a quick comparison of the pros and cons of choosing a toi et moi style for your engagement ring:
- - A truly unique and eye-catching style with a romantic history.
- - If you love two gemstones shapes or cuts equally, you won’t have to choose only one.
- - Offers the perfect chance to incorporate color into your ring by choosing a colored gemstone for one of the stones.
- - Can be designed for any aesthetic from clean and minimalist to vintage inspired.
- - Will most likely be more expensive since you’re buying two larger, similar-sized gemstones for the ring.
- - It may take a while to find two gemstones that are complementary in shape, proportion, and carat size.
- - The quality of the stones need to closely match so there aren’t clear discrepancies when viewed side-by-side.
History of the Toi et Moi Ring
The exact origin of the toi et moi ring in history is unknown, but it was first mentioned in 1796 when the young general Napoleon Bonaparte proposed to Josephine de Beauharnais. The ring featured two pear cut gemstones, one diamond and one sapphire. Both stones weighed about 1 carat and were set in opposite directions on a thin gold band. Josephine was six years his elder, a widow, and a mother of two children.
Napoleon’s family and aristocratic French society did not approve of the union, but the couple was determined to wed. The story of this love succeeding against all odds became linked with the toi et moi style. Even though they would divorce in 1810, the enduring affection for the toi et moi ring would stand the test of time.
Perhaps the most famous toi et moi engagement ring was worn by Jackie Kennedy. Her ring consisted of two beautiful emerald cut stones: a 2.84ct emerald and 2.88ct diamond, surrounded by marquise and round diamonds along the band. In recent years, Emily Ratajkowski, Ariana Grande, and Megan Fox have all opted for toi et moi rings, igniting a renewed infatuation with the style.
Trend Watch: Toi et Moi Engagement Rings
Types of Toi et Moi Ring Styles
It’s generally considered that there are two features crucial to the toi et moi ring. The first is whether or not the stones touch. It is more stable to have the stones touching since that means the band of metal is complete, providing more intrinsic strength and durability. Setting the stones with space between them so they don’t touch is a more daring take on the toi et moi ring, but it does add some vulnerability to the structure.
The other feature is the shape of the band. More often than not, toi et moi rings are designed using the traditional circular ring shape. However, there is also a bypass ring style that is achieved through twisting the usually straight lines of the band so they sweep down and up away from one another, thus bypassing at the top.
Designing Your Own Toi et Moi Engagement Ring
The toi et moi engagement ring style is one of the most romantic for a very good reason, and it gives you plenty of opportunities to get creative. Plus, with two stones taking center stage, it’s the perfect ring to design together with your partner.
As you’re considering your stone choices, you’ll want to first decide the types of gemstones you want in your ring. If you want two diamonds, it will be very important that you choose the same or similar color grades. When two diamonds with color grades that differ too much are placed right next to each other, the contrast in color is greatly enhanced and will be noticeable to the naked eye.
If you choose to incorporate colored gemstones, you’ll want to do your research and select a stone that is hard enought to withstand the rigors of everyday wear. Sapphires are available in a rainbow of colors and are a durable diamond alternative. And if yours and your partner’s birthstones fall within the months associated with these stones, that can be an extra sentimental choice to make for your engagement ring. Emeralds are adored for their vibrant green color; however, we caution the use of the stone in engagement rings since they are prone to chipping, cracking, and drying up over time.
And finally, while it is traditional to pair two stones of the same shape, there is no strict rule about that. Sticking with two stones of the same shape can be a nice vintage-inspired choice. Or take a modern twist by choosing two different shapes – a look we loved for both of our toi et moi engagement ring styles, Allie and Adel.
A toi et moi engagement ring is your invitation to use your imagination. Play around with bezels and halos, maybe try side stones, different stone orientations, or even mixing metals. The options are wide open and you’re guaranteed a showstopping, one-of-a-kind creation!