It's not surprising that Jackie Kennedy's stunning engagement diamond has served as inspiration for countless brides over the years given her standing as a style hero. A 2.88-carat diamond and a 2.84-carat emerald, both in emerald cuts, were set on a band of baguette-cut diamonds and emeralds in the Van Cleef & Arpels toi et moi design.
The romantic design known as toi et moi, which means “you and me” and has two jewels nestled side by side, has seen a recent rise in popularity thanks to celebrities like Ariana Grande, Kylie Jenner, and Megan Fox. Although the design has been around for decades, Napoleon Bonaparte actually proposed to Josephine de Beauharnais with one in 1796.
Unusually, Jackie wasn't shown wearing a ring in photos when the pair first announced their engagement in 1953. I don't have one yet, she reportedly told reporters at the time, according to author Jay Mulvaney. We have examined many of them together with Jack. Others weren't the correct kind, and I didn't like several of them.”
Nearly ten years after their wedding, the First Lady actually changed the style of the piece, swapping the baguettes for more flashy marquise-cut diamonds that tapered to round-cut diamonds on the side. According to Rachel Garrahan, jewellery director for British Vogue, “the new ring made a statement and showed Jackie's developing self-confidence both personally and in her family's role on the global stage.”
Of course, Jackie owned other significant items in addition to the toi et moi ring. The shipping tycoon gave her a massive 40-carat Lesotho III diamond ring from Harry Winston when she later got engaged to Aristotle Onassis; the item eventually sold at auction for $2.6 million in 1996. In the meantime, Carolyn Bessette-diamond Kennedy's and sapphire engagement ring was modelled by Kennedy's alleged “swimming ring”
However, one of the most famous engagement rings in history continues to be Jackie's emerald and diamond ring. Few women in the 20th century had a greater impact on fashion than Jackie Kennedy, says Garrahan. “JFK's engagement ring caught the simple, timelessly elegant style that will eternally define her.”