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From Toi et Moi to a Party of Jewels

By Sarah Royce-Greensill 4 Minute Read

The solitaire engagement ring has serious competition. Two and three-stone rings are increasingly popular with couples seeking individuality and meaning.


Finger-flattering two or three-stone designs allow the wearer to express their personality by combining colours, shapes, and sizes, while maintaining a classic, timeless look.

As distinctive as they are romantic, ‘toi et moi’ (‘you and me’) rings have been thrust into the spotlight by celebrities such as Emily Ratajkowski, Ariana Grande, and Megan Fox, who all said ‘yes’ to two-stone engagement rings. But the toi et moi design has a long and distinguished history. In the 18th century, Emperor Napoleon proposed to Josephine de Beauharnais with a blue sapphire and a white diamond nestled together on a gold band. The two stones represent two souls united, so it’s no surprise that the toi et moi style is once again beloved by romantics worldwide.

Versatility adds to the appeal. Two identical stones create satisfying symmetry, whether topping and tailing a band that coils elegantly around the finger, or floating opposite each other in a contemporary open design. Oval-shaped diamonds and gemstones work beautifully in avant-garde ‘bypass’ designs as they can be set at an angle, elongating the finger.

Alternatively, two distinct gemstones symbolise two individuals who work harmoniously together. Combining a curvaceous pear-cut with a geometric emerald-cut emphasises each one’s unique silhouette, whether they embrace each other on a plain or diamond-set band, or are set apart in a bypass design.

A mix-and-match approach allows couples to choose shapes or colours that best represent them: from rich blue sapphires to showstopping white diamonds, which can be prong-set for a modern, minimalistic look, or surrounded by a halo for a glamorous, feminine touch.

Whoever said ‘three’s a crowd’ certainly wasn’t referring to diamonds, as three-stone rings also provide bags of aesthetic and sentimental charm. Prince Harry proposed to Meghan Markle with a three-stone ring that featured diamonds from his late mother’s collection. The three stones represent a couple’s past, present and future - and, like toi et moi rings, the opportunities for personalisation are endless. Combining a larger centre stone with two smaller side stones creates an aesthetically pleasing outline that also makes the middle diamond appear larger. Tapering side stones are another popular option for an elegant, flowing line that allows the middle stone to take the limelight.

Thanks to the endless array of shapes, sizes, colours and combinations, there’s a three-stone ring to suit any taste. A plain gold band set with three brilliant-cut diamonds is a traditional option for fans of a classic look. Emerald-cut diamonds are an ode to Art Deco - a three-stone design is often easier to wear than a solitaire when it comes to this elongated, rectangular cut. Placing a halo around each diamond adds an incredible amount of sparkle, while a pavé-set diamond band is another way to inject glamour.

Three-stone rings can also be avant-garde: Messika reimagines the style with its Move ring, in which three diamonds glide freely between bands of plain or diamond-set white or rose gold. The house’s My Twin trilogy style combines the modernity of its My Twin toi et moi ring with the meaning of a trilogy ring, hugging the finger with three different diamond cuts.

Beyond all-diamond designs, three-stone rings make it easy to experiment with colour. A vibrant central gem - whether a yellow diamond, emerald or sapphire - is perfectly complemented by white diamond side stones, providing the perfect balance of individuality and timelessness that every couple, royal or otherwise, craves.

Discover the perfect ring to suit your style here at Goldsmiths online or visit us in store at one of our showrooms where our jewellery experts will be delighted to help you find the perfect piece.

Author credit: The Telegraph’s former Jewellery & Watches Editor, Sarah Royce-Greensill has spent the last decade immersed in the fascinating world of fine jewellery. Sarah edits the ‘Showcase’ section of Vanity Fair On Jewellery, a prestigious anthology of everything new and noteworthy in jewellery, and is a contributor to Conde Nast Traveller, Tatler, Times Luxx, Country Life and Harrods Magazine among other titles.

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