One of the first iconic elements of Catherine, The Princess of Wales (The Duchess of Cambridge)’s Royal Jewellery Box was the Sapphire and Diamond Engagement Ring. The Oval ring originally was the engagement ring of Prince William’s Mother Late Princess of Wales, Diana.
Designed by the former Crown Jeweler Garrard & Co the iconic ring has fourteen solitaire diamonds elegantly surrounding a twelve-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire set in 18-karat white gold and cost £28,000 in 1981.
The fun fact is that the ring at the time was not a custom piece and Charles did not have any ring at the time of proposal. Diana chose it later when Gerard was called to present engagement ring samples at the Palace. The ring was later on resized to fit Princess’ finger.
When Charles and Diana separated, the ring came into Prince Charles’ possession and after their mother’s tragic death in 1997, both Prince William and Prince Harry went to Kensington Palace with Prince Charles to choose mementoes from their mother’s collection. It was reported that the ring was originally chosen by Prince Harry while Prince William chose a yellow gold Cartier Tank Française watch. When William decided to propose both brothers exchanged mementoes and the ring once again became an iconic jewel piece after gracing Catherine’s finger in 2010.
Update: In his autobiography, Prince Harry revealed that he never had the ring and there was no exchange. William was the one who had the ring from the very beginning and kept it close for almost 15 years before presenting it to the love of his life. Given the Duke of Sussex’s track record of revelations, I am taking both stories with a grain of salt given and believe we will never know what is the true story behind the ring after Lady Diana’s demise.
The ring was again resized in 2010 by Crown Jewellers G. Collins & Sons. Two platinum beads inside the bottom of the ring were placed to keep it secure around Catherine’s finger. Since 2010 the ring has been replicated countless times.