August 31, 2022

The story of a modern classic: a bespoke design inspired by the timeless Toi et Moi style

The concept for the Senna ring was inspired by the traditional Toi et Moi style.

Each of our ring designs starts with a kernel of an idea. It could be inspired by a memory or a piece of art or a traditional style. Our job is then to translate the initial thought into a physical, wearable ring.

The starting point

Every piece starts life as a series of brainstorms and sketches. We spend time listening and collaborating with the person or couple, going through several rounds of iterations to piece together the starting components of their dream ring. It might take weeks to finalise a firm basis upon which to build the design but we believe this process is invaluable to creating a ring that will last.

The twin pear-cut diamonds set at tessellating angles

Once we have a solid foundation, the next step is to choose the stones. The design of this particular Toi et Moi ring was informed by two particularly special gems. A 0.50 carat pear-cut champagne coloured diamond and a 1.50ct E colour pear-cut diamond. We chose them for their impeccable colour and elegant pear-cut shape – a nod to the traditional style.

The rounded, smooth-edged form of the stones inspired us to position them at tessellating angles, so they sit closely without touching. They're set side by side in the centre, entwined on a slight tilt and framed by two gold bands.

The bands themselves are made from yellow gold. The two meet at the back to give a smooth-edged, ergonomic shape that sits elegantly on the wearer without taking up too much space. This design is not like the traditional, single-band Toi et Moi styles – instead the double-band structure adds a more contemporary feel to the piece, while drawing the eye to the centre of the ring and its intricate setting.

Once all the pieces are carefully assembled and the stones have been perfectly set, we polish the piece using eight grades of polishing compound, tweaking the speed and application depending on the delicacy of the piece.

Senna Toi et Moi 1

The Senna, Toi et Moi ring features a double-band made from Yellow Gold

The history of the Toi et Moi ring

‘Toi et Moi’, meaning ‘You and Me' in French, is formed of two, pear-cut centre gemstones or diamonds that sit nestled side by side on the ring’s band. The twin stones represent two lovers, symbolising partnership and devotion, which are then set on a coiled or twisted band.

To put this style into a historical context, the design was first seen in the French Empress, Josephine de Beauharnais’s engagement ring, given to her by Napoleon Bonaparte. The couple met in 1795 and fell quickly in love. Josephine was a widow with two children and was regarded as an unfavourable match for Napoleon.

Empress Josephine’s Engagement Ring (Photo: Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images)
Empress Josephine’s Engagement Ring (Photo: Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images)

Against his family’s wishes, Napoleon proposed to Josephine and she accepted. The ring, the emperor presented to his bride-to-be featured two pear-shaped stones, a blue sapphire and a white diamond set in gold. This distinct style set an impetus for a trend that would return again and again throughout history.

Typically, antique Toi et Moi rings are made with a ruby and a diamond. The diamond symbolises love and prosperity while the ruby represents passion and devotion. While these antique rings are still popular today, there's increasing movement towards more contemporary takes on the Toi et Moi design.

The idea of putting our own mark on the Toi et Moi ring was hugely exciting for us as it gave us an opportunity to push the boundaries of the classic style, creating a piece that was completely bespoke, while also challenging ourselves to go beyond convention.

A Toi et Moi ring is the ultimate romantic gesture, symbolising unity and solidarity between a couple. The Senna ring is our interpretation of this timeless style, staying true to the hallmarks of the traditional design while adding our own inflections to showcase the highest levels of craft and quality.

If reading this has inspired you, browse all the designs in our bespoke engagement ring portfolio for even more ideas.

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