Knowledge Centre > Jewellery History > History

An engagement ring fit for a Royal!


Kashmir Royal Blue sapphire and diamond ring, circa 1910. Hatton Garden
Kashmir Royal Blue sapphire and diamond ring, circa 1910.
Ref: 27628

A question our team receives often is, ‘is this an engagement ring?’ At Berganza we appeal to those in search of something truly one of a kind. We champion choosing something you admire and most importantly, will enjoy! For centuries, decadent fine jewellery has adorned royalty across the globe. Their choice of engagement ring showcases there is not one style, nor gemstone and thus advocating that one size does not fit all.

In January of 1923, The Queen Mother was presented with a Kashmir sapphire with diamonds either side by the Duke of York. Kashmir sapphires are one of the most highly prized and valuable gemstones today, seldom seen as the old mines were only open from 1881 – 1887. These sapphires are prized for their superior blue velvet hue. Later however, the Queen Mother wore an equally impressive pearl and diamond cluster ring. Natural salt water pearls no longer form naturally due to over-harvesting at the end of the 19th century, therefore to acquire such a gem is to acquire a true rarity.

In 1927, Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II, was presented with a round diamond flanked by five smaller diamonds in a graduating design. This style has stood the test of time as an elegant choice.

In 1981 one of the most iconic and well-known engagement rings was presented to Lady Diana Spencer. The sapphire and diamond coronet cluster design, is to this day, a popular choice as it encompasses elegance whilst embracing both colour and sparkle in harmony. This ring was later presented to and is worn today by Catherine Middleton, Princess of Wales.

Moving into the 21st century, 2018 saw the engagement of Princess Eugenie, which too showcased a sapphire in her engagement ring, however this was a different variety of sapphire, and arguably one of the rarest, known as a Padparadscha sapphire. Padparadscha sapphires are famed for a unique hue, a wonderful marriage of orange and pink to create a rarely seen colour.

Royals from across Europe also showcase an array of engagement ring styles. Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco married Rainier III, Prince of Monaco in 1956. Her engagement ring not only showcased an emerald cut diamond, a more linear cut, renowned for flashes of light, but was also signed by Cartier and had a weight of 10.47 carats! An emerald cut diamond, once owned by the Queen Mother, is also worn by Camilla, the Queen Consort.

Queen Margrethe of Denmark wears an incredible romantic style and choice of engagement ring, an asymmetric diamond cross over, also known as a toi et moi design. Queen Letizia of Spain wears a striking diamond eternity ring with baguette cut diamonds throughout, a design which Marilyn Monroe also wore.

An engagement ring is to be enjoyed daily by its wearer, variables such as colour, shapes and eras of jewellery design are entirely subjective. There are no rules when it comes to choosing an engagement ring, the only thing to consider is your adoration for it. With the largest collection in Europe of over 2500 rings, you will be sure to find a piece to treasure.

Natural saltwater pearl and diamond cluster ring hatton garden
Natural saltwater pearl and diamond cluster ring, French, circa 1910.
Ref: 27254
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Updated 29/05/2024 at 2:48PM

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