Who doesn’t love to ogle and gain “ringspiration” from the world’s most famous celebrities, historical icons and royalty!?
You would think the rich and famous would naturally be drawn to the classic beauty of the diamond however, more often than not, coloured gemstones have been the stone of choice when it comes to choosing the ring of their dreams.
Whether you love the classic elegance of Kate Middleton’s sapphire stunner or the organic modernity of Halle Berry’s vivacious green Colombian emerald ring there are so many stunning designs to gain inspiration from.
Empress Josephine’s pear shape Sapphire and diamond toi et moi ring
Translating to ‘You and me’ the toi et moi ring represents the love between two people and dates back centuries. The classic Toi et moi refers to a ring with two stones that are set side by side, each of similar size and symbolises the romantic idea of two souls becoming one.
There was one particularly famous couple that made this style of ring what it is today. In 1796, Napoleon Bonaparte presented Josephine de Beauharnais with an 18ct yellow gold ring featuring two pear shape stones – one diamond and one sapphire both weighing in at just under 1.00ct each. This was a very generous and extravagant purchase for a military man who had not yet climbed to the imperial heights he was later to be famous for.
The ring made headlines in 2013 when it came up for auction at the French jewellery house, Osenat. It had a presale estimate of $20,000, however it sold for close to $950,000 thanks to its outstanding provenance.
Napoleon remained smitten with Josephine despite their turbulent love story, and her name was the last word he uttered before he passed away – a love story that has gone down in history as one of the most passionate of all time.
Jackie Kennedy’s Emerald and diamond showstopper
Perhaps taking inspiration from Josephine and Napoleon’s toi et moi ring, John F. Kennedy presented Jacqueline Onassis with his own interpretation featuring two striking emerald cut stones, one diamond and one Colombian emerald weighing an impressive 2.88ct and 2.84ct respectively. The original ring was made by Van Clef and Arpels and featured baguettes on the sides.
In 1961 along with the renovation of the white house, Jackie gave her engagement ring a revamp! She took the ring back to the original jeweller and replaced the baguettes with 12 small marquise cut diamonds, six on each side creating a type of wreath wrapping around the diamond and emerald centre stones.
Today the ring is kept at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in Boston and its estimated value is close to 1.8 million dollars.
Princess Eugenie’s Padparadscha Sapphire stunner
With the halo being one of the most popular current ring trends, princess Eugenie’s engagement ring shows us exactly why it’s a favourite! A bright white diamond halo provides the perfect contrast and frame for the beautiful and incredibly rare peach colour, oval cut Padparadscha sapphire which adorns the centre of the ring.
Eugenie’s husband, Jack states that: “I went and found an amazing Padparadscha sapphire but then didn’t want to do anything until Eugenie had signed-off on it… And what’s amazing about it is that it changes colour from every different angle that you look at it, which is what I think of Eugenie, that she changes colour, and is just so amazing.” The couple then designed the ring together once Jack had proposed with the loose stone.
The halo style hit its peak popularity in the 1920’s during the Art Deco period. A diamond halo bordering a centre stone serves two purposes – not only does it give the illusion of a bigger ring and therefore has a more impressive presence on the hand, the diamonds also act as a protective guard against scratching and chips to the centre stone. This is especially useful if the stone is low on the Moh’s hardness scale.
Jessica Simpson’s Ruby Trilogy classic
Symbolising the past, present and future of your love story, the trilogy ring is the perfect design which encapsulates both romance and aesthetic beauty.
Jessica Simpson’s ring features an incredibly rare 5.00ct oval cut ruby in the centre with a pair of 2.00ct pear cut diamonds either side. It is set with yellow gold claws and has a thin yellow gold band.
You will often see gemstone trilogy rings flanked with white diamonds as they highlight and enhance the colour of the gem. The trilogy ring style was particularly popular during the Victorian era and hasn’t gone out of style since!
Olivia Wilde’s Art Deco beauty
The epitome of Art Deco style is perfectly embodied in Olivia Wilde’s round brilliant cut diamond ring with a halo of baguette cut emeralds. Her partner Jason Sudeikis chose to incorporate the halo of emeralds to accentuate Olivia’s green eyes. The green gems are complemented by a thin rim of yellow gold around the halo and down into the band of the ring. Rings that feature emeralds are commonly seen with yellow gold settings, as the yellow and green compliment each other so beautifully.
If you are considering a gemstone for your engagement ring, don’t be afraid to explore and play with colour. Make sure that you try on as many different styles as you can – you never know what gemstone will capture your heart.
Known for their uniqueness, an incredible array of colours and their undeniable beauty, gemstones can provide the perfect representation of your love, and no two are the same, making your ring a complete one-off treasure!
By Prue Bell