The Jewelry Insider

November 17, 2010

Forgive me for my myopic view of the jewelry landscape this week, but I’ve got to share more information about the stunning royal sapphire engagment ring that’s creating more buzz than a chainsaw convention.

Some of you have expressed interest in learning more about the specs and the history behind the ring. Your wish is my command.

Since I was a wee lass when Princess Di first came on the scene – I had no idea that the sapphire ring now making headlines was once a controversial choice – perhaps the first sign of trouble to come for Buckingham Palace and its relationship with Diana.

So, as Fraulein Maria would say: “Let’s start at the very beginning.”

Prince Wet Blanket.. (um, I mean) Charles apparently proposed to Di after a formal dinner party. Without a ring. Bo-RING. BUT – she at least got to sit down with the royal jeweler, Garrods, to pick out a rock of her choosing – every girl’s dream, right?

But instead of selecting a custom-made diamond gem like ‘most’ girls of good breeding, Lady Diana acted like (gasp!) a commoner and decided on a catalog gemstone style instead. The horror! Despite the urgings from the palace, the bride’s wish overruled any royal rumblings – and the rest, as they say, is history.

You gotta love that story – she was the People’s Princess from day one. That said, the sapphire is HUGE and of top quality according to most jewelers. The 18-carat center stone is surrounded by 14 diamonds and cost around $60,000 back in 1981 but is worth over $500,000 these days. And at auction? The sky is the limit, really.

Sapphires for a Steal:

So, as promised, I’ve scrounged together a few more of my favorite sapphire rings for your browsing pleasure. Get those gift lists going, jewelry hounds. And let me know if you find/have other sapphire stunners you’d like to share!

What do you guys think of these selections? Did you know about the ‘commoner ring controversy’ back in the day?

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Comments (10)

  1. Brittney

    I love that story! I was not born yet back in 1981 (lol) so I didn’t know about that story…but I am glad you shared! also, loving pretty much anything sapphire right now, so I love the rings you posted at the bottom. 🙂

  2. Jewelry Insider

    Brittney – Despite the fact that you’re reminding me how ‘old’ I am (ha!) – I have to agree with you. Sapphires are going to be HUGE this hoilday season. Put those rings on your wish list, sister! And the Princess Di backstory makes them an even better choice, I think. It’s the People’s Jewelry Choice this season.

  3. The Beading Gem

    Alas, I wasn’t a wee lass then. I remember seeing the newscast when they announced their engagement and the ring on Princess Di’s finger. He seems rather awkward about it all – like getting married wasn’t his idea.

    I agree sapphires and diamonds will be wildly popular for years to come.

  4. Jewelry Insider

    The Beading Gem – I agree! That press conference where Charles said “Whatever love means..” when asked if they were in love said it all. Diana had to know it was going to be a lonely ride from the get-go. I don’t get that sense at all from these youngsters. Fingers crossed!

    Fingers are also crossed for a little sapphire sparkle under the tree this year. (hint, hint)

  5. Francina

    I love sapphires! They are my birthstone so I’m biased. I’ve actually always preferred sapphires to diamonds because I love that deep, blue allure of a good sapphire. My husband was also born in September so when we started discussing rings and marriage, I was very clear that I wanted a sapphire, not a diamond ring. It didn’t have to be a huge rock, just something that we were both happy with. I chose a 3/4 carat marquis sapphire with diamonds stepping down the sides of it in white gold. I love my ring.

  6. Anonymous

    Did you know that this sapphire in the engagement ring came from Sri Lanka? Apparently it was a gift to the Queen when she visited Sri Lanka around 1980.

  7. Pam

    That’s no 18-carat sapphire. I have a 20-carat one and it’s at least twice as big. I say 8-10 carats max on the center stone.

  8. Anonymous

    If you like to have a good blue Sapphire Go to Sri Lanka you can buy 100% pure.What the royal family using now.

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