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When it comes to engagement rings, the most traditional choice is a solitaire or a three-stone ring. However, one of the latest trends is for two-stone rings. These are usually a pair of gems that are matched for color, shape and size, or two contrasting colors with the same shapes and sizes. As with many jewelry trends, two-stone rings are not a new idea, but one that has been around for many years and is becoming popular once more.
Two famous two-stone rings include the engagement ring that Napoleon Bonaparte gave to his Josephine in 1796 and the Jackie Kennedy engagement ring. The Bonaparte ring is a gold ring with a pear-shaped blue sapphire alongside a pear-shaped white diamond. The two gems face in opposite directions and weigh 1 carat each. The Kennedy ring is a white 2.88-carat diamond and 2.84-carat emerald baguette engagement ring.
An advantage of choosing a two-stone ring is that the gems tend to be more affordable, especially with regard to precious gems, which tend to be sold by the carat. Smaller gems are both easier to source and less strain on the budget than large stones.
A disadvantage of two-stone rings is that it will be more difficult to find two gems that are perfectly matched for color, size and shape than one unique gemstone. This is because gemstones are unique products of nature that cannot be duplicated. When shopping for matched gemstones, some gem dealers will sell ready-matched pairs. This makes it easier to achieve a good likeness. Unlike earrings, in multi-stone rings, it is important to achieve as close a match as possible, since the gemstones will be set next to each other and any difference will be noticeable.
Two stones in a ring can be set horizontally, vertically or obliquely to each other. A modern setting may show a little asymmetry in the placing, shapes, sizes or colors used. Rings with gaps are another modern style, with a space between the two gemstones.
Whatever design is chosen for a two-stone ring, the two stones represent two people in love and a long and happy future together as a couple. For this reason, two-stone rings have been known as "toi et moi" rings, French for "you and me".