December 02, 2021
4 min read

Princess Diana’s engagement ring

Princess Diana’s engagement ring
Princess Diana's engagement ring
Princess Diana’s sapphire engagement ring

Diana’s iconic engagement ring has set trends and become legendary. However, the story behind it is more complex than it seems.

Princess Diana regularly caused controversy: bright, stylish and informal girl, for some she always went beyond the expected bounds of decency.

Unsurprisingly, her engagement ring had the same fate.

Instead of commissioning a one-of-a-kind design as was the royal custom, Diana selected her sapphire ring from Garrard’s catalogue. Why was it so shocking? It meant that common people could also have access to the same jewels as the royal family. In case they had extra $60,000 to pay for them, of course. 

Frankly speaking, the royal jeweler, Garrard, created the ring specially for Diana. However, the fact that it was presented in the catalogue, meaning anyone could have bought it, did not please the royal family. 

According to rumors, the jeweler was inspired by Prince Albert’s wedding present to Queen Victoria in 1840. He gave her a brooch with a similar sapphire and diamond design. Queen Victoria wore it as traditional “something blue” on her wedding day. Decades later Queen Elizabeth II has repeatedly worn the same brooch at public events.

Princess Diana's engagement ring
Princess Diana wearing her legendary sapphire engagement ring

There are two theories explaining why Lady Di was attracted to such a vibrant blue gemstone. The first sentimental legend assumes that the sapphire ring reminded Diana of her mother’s engagement ring. The second one suggests that the sapphire matched the color of Diana’s eyes.

Initially a non-traditional choice, today Diana’s ring is almost a synonym with the royal family. Even after the divorce with Prince Charles in 1996, the Princess continued wearing her engagement ring. After her death, Prince Harry inherited it and gifted it to Prince William. Later Prince William used it to propose to Kate Middleton in 2010. 

Why is this sapphire so special? 

Although engagement rings with impressive gems have been a traditional choice for royal families for centuries, the sapphire Diana chose for her ring stands out from the general background. 

The sapphire of remarkable 12 ct features a rare royal blue color. It came from Ceylon – today known as Sri Lanka. At the time it was purchased, it cost £47,000 (or $60,000). Today, the whole ring is estimated to be worth about £300,000 (or nearly $400,000).

Inspired by a legend 

Iconic jewels are made to inspire!

Diana’s legendary engagement ring features a 12 ct oval sapphire surrounded by 14 round diamonds set in 18 karat white gold. Undoubtedly, such a combination of deep blue sapphire and delicate white diamonds complementing it is worthy of a real royal. The neat round shapes of the stones fully reveal the elegance of this piece.

Choose a Ceylon sapphire and matching white diamonds for your perfect ring. Princess Diana’s style is literally timeless. 

Need professional advice or wanna create a bespoke jewelry piece? Remember to use our advisor service. Professionals in the field of diamonds and gemstones will help you choose a stone according to the request, price and characteristics.

Notable sapphires 

People have been smitten by sapphires for centuries. Their luxurious deep color did not leave anyone indifferent.

Princess Diana's engagement ring
The Blue Belle of Asia
Princess Diana's engagement ring
Napoleon’s engagement ring

One of the most famous jewels with sapphires is Napoléon’s Engagement Ring that he presented to his lover, Joséphine. The emperor spent a fortune on a ring featuring pear shaped sapphire and a diamond. In 2013 the ring was sold for  $1.17 million at an auction.

Another historic sapphire is called the Star of Bombay. Mary Pickford – silent-movie star – got this cabochon-cut sapphire from her husband, Douglas Fairbanks. It is said that this gem is much brighter than other sapphires. By the way, the popular gin – Bombay Sapphire – is named after this gemstone. 

The Blue Belle of Asia is the most expensive sapphire ever sold at an auction. This stunning gemstone was sold for $17 million at Christie’s auction in 2014. Initially, the Blue Belle was bought in 1937 as a gift for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, but it never ended up in the Queen’s possession. 


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