If you’re a part of the antique jewelry Instagram community in any way, you’ve already seen an Augis medaille d’amour.
They’re graphic and memorable, with their rich yellow gold and gemstone and/or diamond embellishments. They’re also highly collectible, as an appealing piece of jewelry that exists in countless slightly different variations of a similar motif. (Image source.)
Some of you may already know what the Augis medaille d’amour’s symbols mean, but do you know the history of the quote?
The Augis medaille d’amour reads “plus qu’hier, moins que demain.” This French phrase translates to “more than yesterday, less than tomorrow.” (Image source.) The phrase is a reference to a 19th century love poem that French poet and playwright Rosemonde Gérard wrote to her husband, Edmond Rostand:
Car, vois-tu, chaque jour je t’aime davantage,
Aujourd’hui plus qu’hier et bien moins que demain.
(For, you see, each day I love you more,
Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.)”
(Fun fact: Rosemonde Gérard’s husband, Edmund, is the author of Cyrano de Bergerac).
In 1907, Alphonse Augis, a jeweler in Lyons, was inspired to take this line of the poem and create his signature Médaille d’Amour.
The design varies but generally features the quote from the poem with the “more than” and “less than” represented by a plus and minus sign, often embellished with gems, traditionally rubies. (Image source.)