Twinned Diamond Rings


front-view-Two stone diamond and synthetic sapphire cluster ring, circa 1920.
Two stone diamond and synthetic sapphire cluster ring, circa 1920.
Ref: 16120

Thursday 10th February 2011

Rings featuring twin central elements are very likely the oldest form of engagement jewellery.  The Ancient Romans are believed to have been the first to use a ring to mark the betrothal of a man and woman, this contract sealed with the joining of the right hands of the bride and groom, called the dextrarum iunct.  An allusion to this impending gesture, many such rings, which date from the second century AD onward, feature a bezel composed of two hands engaged in a handshake.

Over the following centuries this form, which eventually came to be known as a fede ring (‘fede’ meaning ‘faith’ in Italian) became popular throughout Europe, often with the addition of a heart or pair of hearts placed between the hands. Another variation on this theme was the ‘gimmel’ ring (derived from the Latin ‘gemellus’, meaning ‘twin’), the bezel formed of two gemstones of equal size, very often two diamonds, due to their symbolic association with consistency and eternal love.

With the eighteenth century came additional embellishment of the two central forms.  Often the two stones were pierced with Cupid’s arrow, or surmounted with flames, a crown or a bow, the latter representative of a binding together of two hearts with a love knot.  In the nineteenth and into the twentieth centuries, with a greater preference for more minimalist silhouettes, the format became more generalised, typically featuring two round faceted diamonds, the ornament instead appearing on the intricately pierced and engraved galleries, shoulders and shanks.  Today they are charmingly referred to as toi et moi rings, French for ‘you and me’, and are ever a romantic alternative to the solitaire diamond engagement ring.

Two stone diamond ring by Shreve and Co, American, circa 1910.
Two stone diamond ring by Shreve and Co, American, circa 1910.
Ref: 13983
front-view-Antique-diamond-double-heart-ring-berganza-hatton-garden
Antique old mine diamond double heart ring, circa 1860.
Ref: 22304
front-view-Kohn-Art-Deco-diamond-ring-hatton-garden-berganza
Kohn Art Deco two stone diamond ring, American, circa 1930.
Ref: 14954
Old cut diamond double cluster ring, circa 1920.
Old cut diamond double cluster ring, circa 1920.
Ref: 14707
front-view-Two stone diamond cluster ring, circa 1920.
Two stone diamond cluster ring, circa 1920.
Ref: 16017
Georgian rose cut diamond heart ring, circa 1770.
Georgian rose cut diamond heart ring, circa 1770.
Ref: 14389
front-veiw-Two stone diamond cluster ring
Two stone diamond cluster ring, circa 1950.
Ref: 12476
Art Deco two stone diamond ring with diamond set shoulders, circa 1930.
Art Deco two stone diamond ring with diamond set shoulders, circa 1930.
Ref: 15119
front-art-deco-diamond-ring-berganza-hatton-garden
Art Deco diamond ring, circa 1935.
Ref: 12105
front-view-Four stone diamond ring, French, circa 1945.
Four stone diamond ring, French, circa 1945.
Ref: 15162
front view Diamond and ruby ring, circa 1905.
Diamond and ruby ring, circa 1905.
Ref: 12441

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A long established retailer of fine period jewellery, Berganza the jewellers is based in the heart of Hatton Garden, London’s historic jewellery quarter. We specialise in the finest examples of ancient, antique and vintage engagement rings- each one unique, hand crafted and expertly created. We are proud to have one of the largest collections of antique and vintage diamond engagement rings as well as natural gemstone engagement rings in the world, our inventory boasts over two thousand rings. We are fascinated by the history, myth, tradition and design of engagement rings and their evolution over the last two millennia.

We believe in only offering exceptional pieces from each design period, from Ancient Roman intaglio seal rings, Viking twisted rings through to rare gem-set Medieval pieces, Georgian, ornate Victorian, elegant Edwardian, bold Art Deco and retro vintage designs. Each piece has a unique historical background and dates to a time when jewellery was crafted by hand in the days before mass-production, so no two are alike. We deal in rarity and as such have a vast collection of posy rings, the precursors to 'modern' wedding rings, which are most often only available to be viewed in museums. Berganza also has an extensive selection of other types of jewellery such as antique earrings from simple stud earrings through to ornate drop earrings, the finest quality from each of the historical design periods. Another specialty are antique and vintage one-off signed pieces of jewellery by the most famous of jewellery houses such as Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Oscar Heyman Brothers and Boucheron but to name a few. These pieces of jewellery ooze the glamour of bygone eras and are highly sought after today.

Every item of jewellery is set with hand cut diamonds or natural and unenhanced gemstones, often from mines long since depleted. We are proud to include in our compilation, jewellery set with old mine diamonds from India and Brazil, Burmese rubies, Colombian emeralds and Kashmir, Ceylon and Burmese sapphires. Our team of specialists are trained in all aspects of gemmology and history of jewellery design, so we are able to select the finest quality pieces of jewellery for our extensive one-of-a-kind stock. Our expertise in this area is unparalleled and our shared passion for antique jewellery is paramount to our business.

88-90 HATTON GARDEN, London, EC1N 8PN, England

Telephone +44 (0)20 7430 0393 / +44 (0)20 7404 2336


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