Twinned Diamond Rings

Article from Berganza


Two stone diamond sapphire cluster ring berganza hatton garden
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.

Art Deco diamond and emerald ring berganza hatton garden
Art Deco diamond and emerald ring, circa 1930.
Ref: 25001
Art Deco sapphire and diamond ring berganza hatton garden
Art Deco sapphire and diamond ring, circa 1925.
Ref: 24809
front view Kohn Art Deco diamond ring hatton garden berganza
Kohn & Co. Art Deco two stone diamond ring, American, circa 1930.
Ref: 14954
Antique diamond engagement ring hatton garden
Two stone diamond engagement ring, English, circa 1935.
Ref: 23669
Belle Époque pink tourmaline diamond ring berganza hatton garden
Belle Époque pink tourmaline and diamond ring, circa 1900.
Ref: 22400
front view Antique sapphire diamond ring berganza hatton garden
Antique sapphire and diamond engagement ring, circa 1905.
Ref: 20823
front view Art Deco two stone diamond cluster ring, circa 1935.
Art Deco two stone diamond cluster ring, circa 1935.
Ref: 19477
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