Jay-Z and Queen Bey are the reigning pop-culture royals of our time. Between them, the couple has released 19 platinum records — not to mention a record label, a sports agency, clubs, fashion lines and a streaming service. And as loyal fans know, we’ve had a front row seat to every step of their meteoric rise.
Rumors of their relationship began buzzing after Beyoncé was featured on Jay Z’s 2002 track Bonnie & Clyde, rumors that were all but confirmed with Beyoncé’s 2003 single Crazy in Love. The duo kept their dating life pretty hushed, which made their top-secret marriage in April 2008 all the more surprising. Just a few months before Beyoncé would debut Single Ladies, her ode to putting a ring on it, Jay Z presented her with a rock befitting a queen.
He chose a whopping 18-carat emerald-cut diamond set on a platinum split-shank band dusted with diamond pavé, designed by celebrity jeweler Lorraine Schwartz. Split-shanks, a variation on the standard band, feature a gap of negative space on either side of the center stone, creating the illusion of a much larger gem. While Beyoncé’s ring certainly didn’t need any help in the size department, split shank rings can amplify diamonds of any size. We’ve included a few of our favorites below.