Creating a Sapphire and Salt and Pepper Diamond Toi et Moi Ring

Vintage engagement ring

Before a ring finds its forever finger, all the pieces have to come together. Some of our fab team have been on a journey across the globe to make sure we have the best pieces the world can offer! 

The magical result is a stock of hand picked, unique loose gemstones, some stunningly unique ready to ship engagement rings, and an adorable new Toi et Moi combination! So let's find out all about this new Juno, and our journey to making her.

Our Gemstone Journey 

You can read about all of our travels in Hong Kong,Sri Lanka, and India, but the essence of our journey was to learn about the communities and companies we support. It is so important that we maintain conscious sourcing and sustainable business practices. We’ve done the hard part, so you can concentrate on the rings! 

Making a Salt and Pepper Diamond and Teal Sapphire Ring

We knew that we needed something beautiful to commemorate our journey, and obviously we were going to make a ring. Our COO Amy took on the challenge, with the stunning result ending up in her personal collection! So where did this Toi et Moi ring really begin?

Sourcing Sapphire Stones 

It began in Sri Lanka! The second stop on our tour was dedicated to sapphires and lab grown diamonds. After a trip to the Beruwala gem market with one of our longtime suppliers, we headed to an artisanal sapphire mine where our gemstone started its own journey. 

What is a Sapphire?

Sapphires are a gemstone from the corundum family, along with rubies. Best known for their deep blue hue, they come in a rainbow of sapphire colours. We have a soft spot for pink and teal sapphires, but we wouldn't say no to any sapphire! If you’d like to know more about sapphires, check out our sapphire gemstone guide.

Where Do Sapphires Come From?

Sapphires come from mines across the world; these can be anything from small-scale artisanal mines, or larger operations. Sri Lanka is the top producer of sapphires in the world, including the highest valued varieties like padparadscha! 

Our main sapphire supplier is based in Sri Lanka, so we were privileged to have the opportunity to visit one of the local artisanal mines ourselves, and see some of the teal sapphires being excavated. From these gems the first half of our Toi et Moi ring was born!

What is the Best Cut for a Sapphire?

Once the stones have been mined, they need to be cut! Everything you need to know about gemstone cuts is in our guide, but it takes a master of the craft to take one look at a gem, and see what shape it needs to be. 

“The stones go from rough to pre-cut and then they are analysed again by eye. It’s like the cutters have a gut feeling when they see a rough, because they're so experienced. So a stone could be shaped into a basic rectangular shape based on the first glance. And then when they can have a closer look at the stone they choose if they’re going for an emerald cut or a radiant cut sapphire. A cutting in stages like this is how they know they're getting the best out of a stone, depending on the colour placement and any inclusions!”

- Amy, Chief Operating Officer 

Cutting Our Teal Sapphire

This craft has been refined and developed for centuries, with faceted gemstones originating in the 1300’s, and it's often passed down in families! We got a chance to try our hand at faceting a gem while we were in the lapidary.

Sourcing Salt and Pepper Diamonds

We found the next half of our Toi et Moi ring in India! Like in Sri Lanka, we visited our best suppliers in Surat, too. We have very high requirements for our salt and pepper diamonds, so when we find someone who ticks all our boxes, we keep them close! 

“Coming from a jewellery making background myself, I loved seeing the craftsmanship firsthand. I had a go at polishing one of the gemstones, it really makes you aware of just how much work is involved in creating these stunning, one-of-a-kind pieces of actual treasure. It is so much harder than it looks, and takes so much control. It’s a real testament to the skill that goes into the centrepieces of our rings”

- Grace, Senior Client Liaison

What are Salt and Pepper Diamonds?

Salt and pepper diamonds are earth grown diamonds with a galaxy of internal inclusions which give them their distinct pattern! Our salt and pepper diamond guide will give you all the details, but the main point is that they are so pretty. 

They come in all variations from night sky black, stormy grey, and icy white. So you know there is the perfect salt and pepper diamond out there for you, no matter your taste. It might already be waiting in our range of salt and pepper engagement rings!

What is the Best Cut for a Salt and Pepper Diamond?

Cutting salt and pepper diamonds is a particular challenge, due to the number of inclusions! Diamonds are also harder than all other gemstones, so cutting takes longer. 

Some cuts can suit salt and pepper diamonds better than others. Rose cuts are a popular choice in many of our salt and pepper diamond engagement rings because the saturation of colour and speckled effect in a salt and pepper diamond means that you can get the best from these stones without needing the depth of other gems!

Check out what our team would do with their favourite salt and pepper diamonds sourced on our gemstone journey in Designing Our Dream Salt and Pepper Diamond Engagement Rings.

Choosing a Design 

The anatomy of a ring can be complicated, but whether you're wanting a yellow gold ring set with a salt and pepper or a sapphire with some platinum drama, there's a whole lot of design that comes first! Our resident CAD wizard, Charlotte, is the queen of bespoke design. Her structural knowledge is unparalleled, and you can trust her to make your ring dreams come true!

Unique Toi et Moi Engagement Rings

To really do these stones justice, there was no way that Amy could have chosen anything other than a Toi et Moi ring. And because we are the Jessica Flinn team, it had to be a little different. 

Toi et Moi engagement rings traditionally have a pear cut gemstone, paired with another gentle shape, like a round cut or another pear! But to really put the unique engagement ring stamp on this design, we wanted this Juno to meld cosy vintage vibes with a geometric statement stone. This emerald cut sapphire perfectly balances out the round brilliant cut salt and pepper diamond.

Toi Et Moi Rings

Bespoke Toi et Moi Rings

If you ever become one of our fabulous bespoke ring design customers, you’ll get a front seat view of this process! Once you choose your stones, you’ve got a design in mind and the process has started, you get to choose all of the fine details!

Choosing a Metal

Most people already have their favourite metal, but if you like to mix metals it can make your decision harder! Amy only wears white metals, like white gold and platinum, so yellow gold was never going to happen. She went with platinum, because it’s a better long term choice than white gold, as it won’t need replating!

The Final Touches

Final touches are key to the success of a ring. Things like the positioning of the claws can really make or break a design, but are often overlooked! 

In Toi et Moi rings, they're even more important. Some of the claws inevitably have to support both stones. You want to make sure both your gemstones are secure, but you don’t want to overwhelm the stones and ruin the design. 

Amy got to choose between multiple placements, all of which Charlotte ensured would make the stones completely secure! If you design a ring with us, we will always advise which options are safest, and will never offer a design that could lead to problems in the future.

Create Your Own Sapphire and Salt and Pepper Toi et Moi Ring

We love creating such beautiful designs. So, whether like Amy you want a ring as a reminder of an amazing experience, or if you're looking for an engagement ring for your special someone, let us know!

You can contact us if you're ready to recreate Juno, or if you’d like to get started on your very own Toi et Moi ring! If you’ve fallen for one of our existing designs, you can book an appointment to see our collection of ready to ship Toi et Moi rings in person. 

Book an Appointment

Still searching for your dream ring? We can help make that dream a reality with our custom and bespoke services. You can customise one of our existing designs, swapping out gemstones for ones that speak to you or changing the metal type. Or with our bespoke service, you're able create a ring that is completely unique to you. So whether you want a custom engagement ring or a bespoke engagement ring, at Jessica Flinn we have you covered. Book an appointment to begin the process and create your dream ring.