At ÓNÍSÌ PARIS, antique and vintage jewelry fascinates us with its rich and fascinating history, and rings are no exception. In this article, we will explore the history and symbolism of five antique iconic rings that have become popular choices for weddings and engagements. From lesser-known designs to classics, let’s explore the history of the Marquise ring, the You and Me ring, the Trilogy ring, the Solitaire and the classic wedding band. Get ready to be transported to a world of elegance and romance!

1. The Marquise ring

Antique diamond and ruby gold marquise ring Known as the Marquise ring or  Shuttle ring, this jewel has a fascinating history that dates back to the 18th century. This unique jewel with its complex confection owes its name to the Marquise de Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV of France.

The Marquise ring was specially commissioned by the King for the Marquise de Pompadour, and its distinctive design represented the latters smile. The elongated shape of the Marquise ring with pointed ends became its distinctive feature.

Influential at court, the Marquise de Pompadour popularized the jewel throughout the France. It thus experienced a period of great enthusiasm during the Regency period (1715-1723). Its elegant appeal and unique silhouette quickly appealed to women of high society.

However, the craze for the Marquise ring diminished during the 19th century, only to return in force in the 20th and 21st centuries. It regained significant popularity thanks to the renowned personalities who adopted it. Among them was Lady Diana, who was given a diamond-haloed sapphire marquise ring for her engagement to Prince Charles in 1981. More recently, this ring made the cover of magazines when it was presented to Kate Middleton by Prince William in 2010.

Today, the Marquise ring is appreciated for its glamorous look and elongated appearance that gives the illusion of longer and elegant fingers. It is often used as an engagement ring or as a jewel of choice for special occasions.

2. The “You and Me” ring

Antique sapphire and diamonds gold "You and me" ring This ring is a romantic jewel with deep and moving meaning. Its history dates back to the 18th century, when it first appeared in France. The ” Toi et Moi ” or “You and Me” ring is distinguished by the presence of two precious stones, usually diamonds, which are placed side by side on the ring. Each stone represents a person, symbolizing the union and intimate connection between two individuals.

The origin of the design of the “You and Me” ring is often attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte. According to the story, Napoleon gave a ring of this type to Joséphine de Beauharnais during their engagement in 1796. The two precious stones, a pear-cut diamond and sapphire on a rose gold ring, represented Napoleon and Josephine, sealing their eternal love. For Napoleon, 27 years old and holding the position of general, this ring was a gift of great value and a true symbol of his love.

The “You and Me” ring quickly became popular in European nobility and aristocracy circles. It symbolized the union of two souls and the promise of eternal love. It also represented harmony and balance between two people. The two precious stones, although distinct, are united on the same ring, reflecting the unity and complementarity of the lovers.

Today, the “You and Me” ring continues to embody eternal love and the strong relationship between two people. It is often chosen as an engagement ring or as a symbol of a sincere and lasting commitment. Its unique and romantic design made it a popular choice for engagements and wedding anniversaries.

3. The Trilogy Ring

Antique gold diamond trilogy ring Less known than the rings previously mentioned and yet just as symbolic, the Trilogie ring is a ring composed of three precious stones. The Trilogie ring is a jewel whose origin dates back to the Victorian era (19th century). At that time, the symbolism of jewelry was extremely important, and each ring had a special meaning.

The Trilogy ring is characterized by the presence of three precious stones, often diamonds, arranged symmetrically on the ring. Each gemstone represents a specific period in the relationship between two people: the  past, the present and the future.

This ring gained popularity during the Victorian period, when it was often given as an engagement ring or as a romantic gift. It symbolized eternal love and long-term commitment between lovers.

Over time, the Trilogy ring became a popular choice for celebrating wedding anniversaries. Although the ring most often consists of three diamonds, one can also choose to combine three different stones. Each gemstone, endowed with its own symbolism, then represents a significant step in the life of the couple, strengthening the bonds of love and complicity.

Today, the Trilogy ring continues to be a popular choice for engagements and special occasions. Its timeless symbolism makes it a significant gem that transcends fashion trends.

4. The Solitaire

The Solitaire ring is one of the most iconic and recognizable rings in the world. Its history goes back centuries, and it remains a timeless choice for marriage proposals.

The Solitaire ring has its origins in ancient Rome and Egypt, where rings were used as symbols of authority and status. However, it was not until the eighteenth century that the concept of the Solitaire ring as an engagement ring became widespread.

Vintage gold aquamarine solitaire ring

The Solitaire ring is distinguished by the presence of a single precious stone, usually a diamond, mounted on a single ring. The jewelry idea behind this design is to highlight the beauty and brilliance of the central stone.

The popularity of the Solitaire ring was greatly influenced by the De Beers company in the 20th century. Through innovative advertising campaigns, De Beers has succeeded in establishing the Solitaire ring as the ultimate symbol of love and commitment. The famous phrase  “A diamond is forever” has become synonymous with the Solitaire ring, reinforcing its iconic status.

Today, the Solitaire ring remains the most popular engagement ring in many cultures around the world. It symbolizes pure love, unconditional commitment and the promise of a shared life. In addition, couples now express their individuality by sometimes choosing to honor a stone other than the diamond. Examples include sapphire, a symbol of loyalty, or aquamarine, a communication stone also known as the “lovers’ stone”. 

5. The wedding band

The classic wedding band

Antique gold wedding band This ring has a long history dating back to ancient times. Its powerful and timeless symbolism makes it one of the most important and respected jewels in many cultures around the world.

The first traces of wedding rings date back to ancient Egypt, where they were made from natural materials such as reed and grass. These rings were considered symbols of eternal love and sacred union between two people.

Over time, the use of precious metals such as gold and silver became widespread, and wedding rings became more elaborate and sophisticated. In ancient Rome, the wedding ring was often adorned with personalized symbols and engravings, adding additional meaning to these precious jewels.

In  the Middle Ages, wedding rings were often engraved with religious symbols and messages of love. They were also used as status symbols, with the precious materials used reflecting the wealth and position of the family.

Today, the classic wedding ring stands out for its simplicity and timeless beauty. Usually made of gold, silver or platinum, the wedding ring is a simple and elegant ring that symbolizes mutual commitment and unwavering love between two people.

The american wedding band

Vintage gold diamond wedding ring

In addition to the classic wedding ring, a popular variant is the diamond wedding ring, also known as the “American wedding ring”. This contemporary version of the wedding ring adds an extra sparkle to the tradition.

The diamond wedding ring is characterized by the presence of diamonds inlaid on all or part of the ring. These sparkling diamonds symbolize eternal love and add a touch of glamour and sophistication to the wedding ring.

This diamond wedding ring trend originated in the United States in the 20th century and gained popularity worldwide. It offers a sparkling alternative to the classic wedding ring, allowing couples to choose a ring that reflects their style and personality.

Whether it’s a classic wedding ring or a diamond wedding ring, these precious jewels remain timeless symbols of union and eternal love. Whichever variant is chosen, the wedding ring remains a constant reminder of the vows and promises shared between two souls united in marriage.

Through this exhaustive article, we hope that you will have broadened your knowledge of symbolic rings to offer in engagement or marriage. If you want to enrich this historical symbolism, an old or vintage jewel is an even more meaningful choice.

Explore our selection of vintage engagement rings and wedding rings!