The beautiful history of Kate Middleton's engagement ring
As Kate Middleton and Prince William celebrate their 10 year wedding anniversary, our engagement ring experts at Steven Stone have taken a fresh look at Kate Middleton's world famous engagement ring.
Kate Middleton's ring, which was formerly Princess Diana's, features a 12 carat Ceylon sapphire, originating from Sri Lanka. Like with most precious gemstones, the quality and value of a sapphire is graded by its colour and hue, which can range from a light, pale blue to a dark, royal blue.
The sapphire is a deep, royal blue, of AAAA quality, making it amongst the most valuable of its kind.
While it is no doubt beautiful, at the time of the engagement in February 1981, the ring received a lot of backlash, often being referred to as the "commoner’s ring", because while being a creation from former Crown jeweller Garrard it was not a unique design.
The ring was also available to the general public, providing they had £28,500 to spend, which was the estimated price of the ring at the time.
Interestingly, soon after the engagement, Princess Diana had the ring modified.
Originally, the ring was clasped into place with just eight prongs, attaching it to the band, however Diana then added a further six prongs, which are visible on top of the sapphire. It’s likely she did this to secure the precious stone, to prevent it from coming loose in the setting.
While Prince Harry inherited the ring in 1997 in the wake of Diana’s tragic death, it’s said he offered the cherished ring to his brother, Prince William, so he could propose to Kate Middleton with it.
When Prince William and Kate Middleton became engaged in 2010, the royal engagement ring was once again in the spotlight.
Globally, the sale of blue sapphires increased by around 300 percent at the time, and even now, thanks to Netflix show The Crown, sales of sapphires are surging, with vintage style halo designs being extremely popular.
Due to inflation and its legacy, we’d estimate the value of this ring to be around £390,000 today, however in 10 years’ time it’s likely this ring will be worth over £500,000, thanks to its history, beauty, and priceless legacy.