Toi et moi

Elegant antique ring with old european cut diamond & blue sapphire, around 1900

One of the most typical and beautiful forms that rings could take at the turn of the century was that of the toi-et-moi ring. Here, two precious stones are presented on an often curved band: Equal, side by side, yet individual. The name derives from the fact that the two gemstones are thus meant to represent the lovers whose affection such a ring can seal. Here, a natural sapphire and a large old european cut diamond are set as the protagonists. The sapphire is of an intense blue color, which produces luminous reflections depending on the incidence of light. It has a slight color zoning that identifies it as a natural stone. The diamond weighs about 0.55 ct and shows a vivid brilliance. Both stones are held by delicate claws in coronet settings and the ring shoulders are also plated with platinum, as was common in the period, so that the smaller diamonds appear only as shimmering reflections of light in this. The band is entirely in 14-carat yellow gold. Its high-quality materials but also its nostalgic, yet wearable design make the ring a piece of jewellery for the ages. The ring found its way to us here in Berlin.

Among all gemstones, the deep blue sapphire in particular has been attributed various mythical qualities over the centuries. In the Middle Ages, bishops wore this stone as a ring because they believed it warded off wiles and falsehood, and protected its wearer from feeling envy. In his Natural History of Gemstones, Della storia naturale della gemme, Naples 1730, Giacinto Gimma then wrote that the colour blue represented Venus and the study of the heavenly bodies and stars, and was most purely represented in sapphire. Possibly from these associations developed in the 19th century the meaning that the sapphire held in the so-called gemlore, the language of precious stones. In this language it was associated with truth and loving loyalty. For example, the painter Sir Edward Burne Jones, who also designed jewellery, wrote to his close friend Frances Graham: "Sapphire is truth, and I am never without it [...] Sapphires I make my totem of!"

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.


We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.