Ring in the changes: multi-finger rings are here to stay

From street fashion to high jewellery, the vogue for major hand statements has risen up the ranks and is showing no signs of retreating.

Myriam SOS diamond in between the fingers rings

Rings are no longer content to be anchored to just one finger. Having tasted freedom, rings are now all over the hand, popping up in between the digits, straddling two or more fingers or in clever duos that meet to become one. These ambitious rings form one of the strongest trends of the last five years and I think we are safe to say that across the finger, between the finger and hand-spanning rings are here to stay. In honour of this newcomer to the world of fine jewellery, we have chosen our favourite big looks for the hand from a range of jewellers who have designs on ways to adorn more than just one of your fingers.

Dior et Moi black opal double ring
Dior et Moi black opal double ring in yellow and pink gold, accompanied by diamonds, a cultured pink pearl, a pink sapphire and multi-coloured lacquer and gemstones.

The popularity and size of the big-look ring may be new, but they style originates in the tradition of the toi et moi rings of the late 17th century. These rings with a romantic message featured two stones, set side by side: one represents you, the other me.  This charming tradition took off when in 1796 Napoléon Bonaparte proposed to Joséphine de Beauharnais with a sapphire and diamond toi et moi ring. Today’s revamped versions dare to go beyond a demure pair of stones and unleash bright gemstones and diamonds to roam free across the entire hand. A variety of techniques are used including an open shank - as seen in the between the finger rings- double shanks or even elongated ovals that slip over two, three or four fingers.

Read more about the history of toi et moi rings here.

Margot McKinney double ring
Margot McKinney double ring featuring a bi-coloured green tourmaline and an Australian Lightning Ridge opal.

Today there are few jewellers who don’t have a hand-dominating ring or two in their range. Dior known for its avant-garde style, devoted its recent high jewellery collection Dior et Moi to a deconstruction of the traditional toi et moi ring. Think knuckledusters brimming with exotic colour gemstones for a new street-chic luxe take on high jewels. Likewise, Australian luxury jeweller par excellence Margot McKinney goes for a jumbo sized toi et moi ring pairing an outsize Australian Lightning Ridge opal with a lagoon green tourmaline (above) for a total knock out effect.

Petite Starina triple ring by Nadine Aysoy
This triple Tsarina ring by Nadine Aysoy in white gold is set with aquamarines and diamonds for a delicate look inspired by snowflakes. 

Nadine Aysoy brings fun into fine jewellery after leaving a very serious career in finance. The London-based designer now offers playful rings like the Tsarina triple version inspired by delicate snowflakes (above). Alinka, based in Sydney,  has created a cool-girl everyday diamond look featuring many across the fingers with her signature x-motif (below). 

Triple ring from Alinka
Australian brand Alinka Fine Jewellery is the creation of Russian-born Alina Barlow. The White Nights rings are reminiscent of the famous St Petersburg balls of her homeland. 

Myriam SOS pushes the boundaries with rings that send a shower of diamond stars across the hand (main image) while Chanel shoots a comet over the hand, leaving in its wake a trail of diamonds. Lydia Courteille is no stranger to remarkably bizarre jewels and opens a Spanish fan across the hand in a double-shank ring from the Rose del Inca collection.

Tasaki across the fingers bow ring
The Japanese jeweller Tasaki is known for its avant garde style that includes a wide range of finger spanning rings including this pretty bow-shape version with yellow and white diamonds and Akoya pearls. 

There is no limit to the styles of these daring rings.  Going for a dainty, ladylike look, London jeweller David Morris makes little blossoms sprout between the fingers in the new Miss Daisy pieces (below). Tasaki, the Japanese jeweller makes a pretty bow of white and yellow diamonds that ties two fingers together, tipped with perfect white Akoya pearls (above). Van Leles Diamonds brings the architecture of Africa to the Sahara collection with a double-shank ring that allows a little hut village take up residence on your hand.

Miss Daisy triple ring
This triple diamond floral ring is by the London jeweller David Morris and here we have styled it with another single ring from the Miss Daisy collection. 

One of my favourite takes on the double ring is thanks to Tomasz Donocik, the award-winning Shoreditch-based designer. He cleverly works the trend in his very own way by creating two separate Stellar Art Deco rings that when worn on adjacent fingers create the look of one big, single ring. That to me is mark of an original thinker who can take a trend and run with it and create something that isn't what it appears to be. 

Read an interview with Tomasz Donocik here.

Electric night emerald and tourmaline cocktail ring by Tomasz Donocik
The Art Deco Stellar rings merge Donocik’s interest in retro-futuristic themes with and Art Deco air using diamonds, emeralds and black spinel, the gemstones mostly closely associated with this design era. The rings can be worn separately or together as shown to create the illusion of one cross-finger wing-shaped ring. 
 

But no story on multi-finger rings would be complete without a special mention of Van Cleef & Arpels. Founded in 1896, the Parisian house has been a pioneer in this field, prompting the house to trademark the name ‘Between the Finger’ rings in 1974. Although the house had been making variants of this style of ring for many years, it was the arrival of high jewellery versions in the early 1970’s in the shape of butterflies and flowers often with Mystery Set rubies that prompted the house to claim the trademark. Mystery Set is in fact another Van Cleef & Arpels trademark that protects their rights to use this name to describe the technique of setting stones without any metal visible, developed by the maison in the 1930’s. With prestigious houses such Van Cleef & Arpels fuelling our desire for rings that give a whole lot more, the finger-spanning ring trend is set to become a firmly established fine and high jewellery staple. 

 

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