Kate’s sapphire engagement ring now worth £300k – 10 TIMES more than when it was bought for Princess Diana – so how does it measure up to Kim Kardashian’s rock and Michelle Obama’s sparkler?
- Kate’s ring was bought by Charles for Diana in 1981 for £28,000
- Like many other rings with famous owners it has drastically increased in value
- Michelle Obama’s ring has risen from £7,500 in 1991 to £20,000 today
- Beyonce’s diamond cost £2,650,000 in 2007 and now is worth £5,800,000
Undoubtedly the most famous engagement ring in the world, Kate Middleton’s sapphire sparkler has increased more than ten-fold in value, according to new research.
The piece of jewellery consists of 14 solitaire diamonds surrounding a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire set in 18-karat white gold. It was originally the engagement ring of the late Princess Diana and was worth £28,000 when it was bought in 1981, but is now valued at £300,000.
The stunning sparkler sits at the top of a list of the 20 famous rings, placed in order of how much each has appreciated in value since they were first given.
Kate’s ring has shot up in value and is worth three times more than the Queen’s engagement ring.
The Queen’s modest engagement token, presented by Prince Phillip in 1947, has increased in value from £10,000 to £100,000 today and comes second on the list.
The Duchess of Cornwall’s band – a beautiful 1930s Art Deco design – was the most expensive of the royal betrothal rings at its purchase, up from £100,000 at the time of her wedding to Prince Charles in 2004 to £250,000 now.
The Queen’s modest engagement ring, a 3-carat diamond solitaire is flanked on each side by five smaller diamonds, presented by Prince Phillip in 1947, has increased in value from £10,000 to £100,000 today
Vashi Dominguez, jewellery expert on ITV’s This Morning, who compiled the list, said: ‘The Duchess of Cambridge’s ring has appreciated more quickly than any other ring in the list.
‘It’s Kate’s style icon status that makes the ring so special.
‘Symbolically, blue can convey a sense of trust, loyalty and understanding, which is perfectly in tune with the giving of an engagement ring.
‘Blue is also a colour associated with the royals, of course.’
Third on the list is Michelle Obama’s engagement ring – presented to her by Barack Obama in 1991, when he was an unknown lawyer. It was a worth a modest £7,500 then and its current value is estimated at £20,000.
Its actual value is tiny compared to Beyoncé’s engagement ring, which was worth £2,650,000 when rapper Jay-Z proposed in 2007.
The statement piece, an 18-carat diamond set in platinum, is now worth £5,800,000 but only comes 11th on the list.
Kim Kardashian’s 15-carat bling is the second most expensive on the list, priced at £5,150,000, and is ranked fifth in terms of its appreciation in value.
David and Victoria Beckham’s rings’ original value was £100,000 each back in 1998 – the rings have now individually shot up in worth to £230,000 each.
Victoria’s 3-carat pride of joy is marquise cut; an unusual, elegant diamond shape, while David’s matching band is set with 96 exquisite diamonds. They rank as joint sixth on the list.
‘Even in 1998, Victoria’s ring was unusual and perhaps ahead of its time,’ said Vashi.
‘It was perhaps a sign that she would turn to fashion and become greatly successful in the industry.’
Prime Minister’s wife Samantha Cameron’s engagement ring is estimated to have been worth £25,000 when it was given to her ahead of their 1994 wedding. It is now worth £45,000 and comes seventh on the list.
Vashi said: ‘Samantha Cameron rarely shows off her engagement ring, so it’s a treat when we see pictures of it. Samantha appears to save the ring for special occasions rather than wear it every day.’
Angelina Jolie’s 2012 engagement ring, designed by her fiance Brad Pitt, features diamonds of the highest quality cut to a size and shape to suit the screen beauty’s slender hand. It originally cost £600,000, is now worth £950,000 and comes 12th on the list.
Vashi added: ‘All the rings are gorgeous and, despite many of them being extremely expensive, they all represent something deeply personal. It’s essentially about the bride-to-be’s emotional connection, hence why the rings become precious heirlooms, passed down through generations – a tradition so beautifully upheld by the Royal Family.
‘No one buys an engagement ring as an investment but the steep rise in their valuations, particularly in recent years as we emerge from the recession and the demand for luxury jewellery increases, shows what a sound investment diamonds are.’
Kate’s ring originally cost £28 000 in 1981
1. Kate Middleton, 2010
Originally Princess Diana’s, this ring consists of 14 solitaire diamonds surrounding a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon blue sapphire and set in white gold. It originally cost £28 000 in 1981.
In 2010 Prince William presented the ring to the then Kate Middleton.
The striking design has prompted many replicas and set jewellery trends worldwide. While originally thought controversial due to its atypical, colourful appearance, the engagement ring is now a firm public favourite.
Vashi Dominguez said: ‘The spectacular central stone is a sapphire, framed by wonderful diamonds, as opposed to the more traditional diamond as centrepiece. Not only that, but the colour blue is incredibly popular – it’s very versatile.
‘Symbolically, blue can convey a sense of trust, loyalty and understanding, which is perfectly in tune with the giving of an engagement ring.
‘Blue is also a colour associated with the royals, of course, so I believe it’s fitting that Kate is wearing a ring to reflect her addition into the family.’
Original cost – £28,000 : Current cost – £300,000
2. Queen Elizabeth II, 1947
Queen Elizabeth II most regularly wears one of her smallest rings – her engagement ring from Prince Phillip, given in 1947. A 3-carat diamond solitaire is flanked on each side by five smaller diamonds, all set in platinum. Interestingly, the diamonds were taken from a tiara owned by Prince Phillip’s mother, adding a sweet heritage touch to the piece.
Vashi said: ‘Being in the public eye, the royals are open to criticism especially when it comes to money. It’s poignant that the Queen most regularly wears this small classic ring.’
Relatively modest compared to some celebrities, Michelle Obama’s ring cost £7,500 when it was given to her
Original cost – £10,000 : Current cost – £100,000
3. Michelle Obama, 1991
Michelle Obama’s engagement ring (presented by Barack Obama in 1991) features a modest 1-carat diamond and is a little smaller than the average celebrity’s rock. Nonetheless, the ring echoes Michelle’s sophisticated, classic style and can be worn for a lifetime, surpassing throwaway trends.
Vashi said: ‘Akin to her fashion choices, Michelle Obama prides classic over trendy. She favours bold block colours and the occasional bright print, all of which her traditional diamond engagement ring complements,’ said Vashi.
Original cost – £7,500 : Current cost – £20,000
4. Jennifer Aniston, 2012
Jennifer Aniston’s engagement ring from Justin Theroux was revealed in 2012. The ring is a staggering 8-carats, making it more akin to a cocktail ring than a typical engagement ring.
Undeniably a showpiece, the extraordinary ring has a beautiful ‘wow’ factor.
Vashi said: ‘As a red carpet regular, Jennifer Aniston deserved a show shopping ring. Although the star prefers smart-casual fashion looks in the daytime, she amps it up for media appearances in larger than life gowns or skimpy metallic pieces so a cocktail style ring is a must to ensure it is noticed even with the fanciest of outfits,’ said Vashi.
Original cost – £600,000 : Current cost – £825,000
Jennifer’s ring is a staggering 8-carats, making it more akin to a cocktail ring than a typical engagement ring to be worn for a lifetime
The show-stopping ring, revealed earlier this year, certainly reflects Kim’s larger than life personality
5. Kim Kardashian, 2014
Kim Kardashian’s 15-carat gem is memorable. Her fiance, rapper Kanye West, wished the emerald cut ring to appear to be floating on air and he proved his romantic side by being involved in the ring’s design each step of the way.
The show-stopper, revealed earlier this year, certainly reflects Kim’s larger-than-life personality and penchant for the finer things in life.
Vashi said: ‘For most, Kim Kardashian’s ring is over-the-top and wouldn’t suit the ‘ordinary’ lifestyle.
However, stars in the making dream of getting their hands on a diamond this striking and we have received bespoke requests from high-net worth individuals and VIPs wishing to creating a similar piece.’
Original cost – £5,000,000 : Current cost – £5,150,000
6. Victoria Beckham, 1998
Victoria Beckham wears her 3-carat sparkler with pride; her engagement ring is marquise cut, which is an unusual yet elegant diamond shape.
David Beckham chose a matching diamond engagement band for himself (set with no less than 96 exquisite diamonds). In 1998, the total cost of both rings was £100,000 each. Beckham increased his jewellery collection with several other rings, including a 19ct creation. The power couple fail to disappoint in the jewellery stakes.
Vashi said: ‘Victoria has now cemented herself as a modern fashion icon. Even in 1998, her engagement ring was unusual and perhaps ahead of its time. It was a sign that she would turn to fashion and become greatly successful in the industry.’
Original cost – £100,000 for Victoria’s; £100,000 for David’s : Current cost – both are worth £230,000
7. Samantha Cameron, 1994
David Cameron presented Samantha Cameron a gorgeous engagement ring in 1994. Although the businesswoman doesn’t always wear the sparkler, when she does it is sure to attract attention.
Understated yet impactful, the classy engagement ring once belonged to David’s paternal grandmother and dazzles in gold with a large diamond centre stone.
Vashi said: ‘Samantha Cameron rarely shows off her engagement ring, so it’s a treat when we see pictures of it. Like some women, Samantha keeps it for special occasions.’
Original cost – £25,000 : Current cost – £45,000
Samantha Cameron, pictured here with the Duke Of Edinburgh, wears a ring that once belonged to David’s paternal grandmother
Jennifer Garner’s ring design holds a 4.5-carat diamond
8. Jennifer Garner, 2005
On Jennifer Garner’s 33rd birthday in 2005, Ben Affleck pulled out all the stops. The exuberant design holds a 4.5-carat diamond. Although clearly of statement size, the ring is not overly ornate and allows the dazzling diamond to do all the talking.
‘Ben Affleck has scored twice with exceptional engagement rings,’ said Vashi. ‘He presented Jennifer Lopez with a pink diamond ring in 2002 followed by the 4.5 carat cushion cut gemstone he proposed to Jennifer Garner with. Not a man to do jewels by halves!’
Original cost (4.5-carat diamond ring) – £280,000 : Current cost – £420,000
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, received a diamond engagement ring from the Prince of Wales in 2004
9. Duchess of Cornwall, 2004
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, received a diamond engagement ring from the Prince of Wales in 2004.
Once belonging to Charles’s grandmother, the 1930s Art Deco piece is a royal heirloom and was said to be the Queen Mother’s favourite. Reflecting the taste of the Queen Mother and the style of the period, the ring is crafted from platinum.
Vashi said: ‘Due to the controversy around Prince Charles and Camilla’s engagement, the ring was initially criticised, not least because the ring once belonged to the Queen Mother who reportedly disapproved of Charles’ remarrying. Personal opinions aside, however, the ring itself is a precious beauty.’
Original cost – £100,000 : Current cost – £250,000
10. Halle Berry, 2012
Certainly a non-traditional engagement ring, Halle Berry wears a diamond and emerald design. The ring was presented to her by Olivier Martinez in March, 2012. With a 4-carat emerald at its centre, the gemstone is truly exquisite, with the colour reported as ‘perfect’.
The ring also incorporates two diamonds set within a hand-forged, textured yellow gold band. The piece is said to contain private symbols and codes which represent the couple’s story.
Vashi said: ‘Olivier Martinez and Halle Berry didn’t follow the crowd when making their engagement ring choice and the exuberantly colourful design is memorable amongst a sea of classic diamond rings. The deep emerald colour complements Halle’s flawless skin wonderfully.’
Original cost – £120,000 : Current cost – £270,000
Beyonce was given a flawless 18ct diamond set in platinum worth around £2,650,000
11. Beyoncé, 2007
Known for their extravagant lifestyle, Jay Z and Beyoncé lived up to their hype when it came to the latter’s engagement ring.
Proposing in 2007, Jay Z gave Beyoncé a ring worth $5 million. The flawless diamond is a dream at 18-carats and has been set in platinum. We wouldn’t expect any less sparkle for the pop star!
Vashi said: ‘She’s known to be a pop goddess, so Beyoncé’s ring really had to stand out from the crowd. Such a huge gemstone will provide the ideal family heirloom and perhaps be passed down to daughter Blue Ivy in time.’
Original cost – £2,650,000 : Current cost – £5,800,000
12. Angelina Jolie, 2012
Taking a year to perfect, Angelina Jolie’s engagement ring was presented to her by Brad Pitt in 2012. A one-of-a-kind cut, Brad had a specific vision for the ring and was involved throughout the designing process.
Maintaining high standards, diamonds of the very finest qualities were sourced and were cut to a custom size and shape to suit Angelina’s slender hands.
Vashi said: ‘Brad’s ring for Angelina proves just how creative one can be when choosing an engagement ring. Bespoke pieces are becoming more and more popular with the option of unbeatable value so couples want to stamp their originality on a piece that’s meant for forever.’
The estimated price tag for Keira’s round brilliant cut solitaire 2ct diamond ring is £23 000
Original cost – £600,000 : Current cost – £950,000
13. Keira Knightley, 2012
When proposing to Keira Knightley in 2012, James Righton kept things classic. Keira wears a solid platinum band with a round brilliant cut solitaire 2ct diamond. The estimated price tag is £23 000.
Traditional in its design, the design resists extravagance or quirky touches, and will be a versatile and stunning gemstone for a lifetime.
Vashi said: ‘Undeniably an English Rose, it’s fitting that Keira wears such a classic ring. Unlike some of her celebrity counterparts, the star has a realness which women relate to and the traditional solitaire ring recognises she doesn’t need flashy jewels to show the couple’s commitment.’
Jamie searched for an original diamond ring of Scott Fitzgerald’s wife to purchase
Original cost – £23,000 : Current cost – £35,000
14. Kate Moss, 2011
It’s delightful to find an engagement ring with a story behind it and Kate Moss’ ring (presented in 2011 by Jamie Hince) is no exception. It was inspired by 1920s It girl Zelda Fitzgerald’s Art Deco ring.
Jamie discovered Kate adored novelist F Scott Fitzgerald and searched for an original diamond ring of Fitzgerald’s wife to purchase. He was unsuccessful but he found sketches of one and had the design duplicated. Kate wears the decorative piece alongside a simple gold wedding band.
Vashi said: ‘Kate has an eclectic style that has seen her shine in vintage pieces since the 90s. Her engagement ring is no different, a modern piece that references the past and pays homage to a party girl like herself!
Kate works her versatile ring with sophisticated gowns for evenings or denim and a leather jacket throughout the day.’
Original cost – £48,000 : Current cost – £67,000
15. Elton John, 2005
Elton John and David Furnish, who were engaged in 2005, wear specially-designed matching engagement rings. The rings have a personal touch, with subtle engravings of the stars’ names ‘Elton’ and ‘David’..
‘It’s great that the pair rock matching engagement rings,’ said Vashi. ‘Despite having wacky fashion tastes, the diamond rings are traditional, striking and simple white gold bands.’
Original cost – £55,000 : Current cost – £75,000
16. Amber Heard & Johnny Depp, 2014
In April 2014, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s engagement was revealed. Johnny was spotted wearing a female engagement ring, reportedly because the actor’s attempt at creating a unique piece of jewellery for his intended went awry.
Scarlett Johansson’s ring is a truly unique Art Deco diamond piece, with three round diamonds set in popular platinum
The ring, which was too big for Amber herself, was sported by Johnny as he purchased a second wonderful antique design for her. The ring Johnny Depp is now wearing is 3cts, retailing for around £50, 000. It has a centre, round brilliant large diamond, surrounded by baguettes and round diamonds in a vintage looking setting. Perhaps the ring will spark a future trend in mengagement rings…
‘In the past, there was a little bit of hype with ‘mengagement rings’ but it never took off and made it into the mainstream. However, with the stature of famous actor Johnny Depp trying to make the male engagement ring happen, it may be that in time it becomes a trend,’ said Vashi.
Original cost – £50,000 : Current cost – £52,000
17. Scarlett Johansson, 2013
In 2013, Romain Dauriac proposed to Scarlett Johansson. He wowed the star with a truly unique Art Deco diamond piece, set in popular platinum. The dazzling sparkler features three round diamonds, which are surrounded by a vintage rectangular setting with smaller diamonds to decorate. The diamond ring caused a stir when it was revealed due to the creative, unusual design.
‘The blonde bombshell’s engagement ring is intricate and elegant,’ said Vashi. ‘The ring stunned at 2013’s Venice Film Festival and has all the A-list appeal one could wish for.’
Original cost – £50,000 : Current cost – £60,000
18. Jessica Biel & Justin Timberlake, 2011
Justin Timberlake presented a diamond engagement ring to Jessica Biel in 2011. Her enormous 18-carat diamond engagement ring also features two aquamarine elements, which represent Jessica’s birthstone, adding a thoughtful personal touch.
‘Incorporating Jessica’s birthstone, aquamarine, was a beautiful touch. Many brides to be are experimenting with coloured stones as well as diamonds in their engagement rings to inject some personality. It’s a unique piece but one that will surely stand the test of time,’ said Vashi.
Jessica Biel shows her enormous 18-carat diamond engagement ring which features two aquamarine elements
Original cost – £72,000 : Current cost – £89,500
19. Natalie Portman, 2011
Benjamin Millepied and Natalie Portman were engaged in 2011; the engagement ring comes with quite a story. Always an actress to do things differently, the star opted in eco-friendly ring, created from recycled materials. The striking ring includes recycled platinum, accenting conflict-free pavé diamonds and a huge antique centre stone.
‘As should be the norm, Portman and Millepied focused on an eco-friendly and conflict-free design,’ said Vashi. ‘It’s clear that green can still have the ‘wow’ factor as Natalie’s ring is a stunning, ornate design. The diamond sits in a raised setting to further accentuate its brilliance.’
Original cost – £22,000 : Current cost – £29,500
Drew Barrymore’s ring features a colourless radiant cut diamond, weighing in at just under 4 carats
Natalie Portman opted for an eco-friendly ring, created from recycled materials
20. Drew Barrymore, 2012
Art consultant Will Kopelman chose nothing less than a work of art when selecting the engagement ring to present to Drew Barrymore in 2012. The ring features a colourless radiant cut diamond, weighing in at just under 4 carats. The stunning sparkling gemstone is situated on a dainty slender band, also covered in diamonds.
The refreshingly down to earth Drew Barrymore admitted her ring was too fancy,’ said Vashi. ‘However, the glittering design is far from too grand and retains a sophistication and timelessness.’
Original cost – £54,000 : Current cost – £75,000