All about Princess Diana’s sapphire engagement ring

Everything you need to know about Diana, Princess of Wales's sapphire engagement ring, made by Garrard, answered. Prince William subsequently gave the ring to Kate Middleton when he proposed to her.

8 November 2022

By Joshua Hendren

Who made Princess Diana’s engagement ring?

Princess Diana’s sapphire ring was first unveiled in 1981 when her engagement to Prince Charles was announced. The ring was crafted by Garrard, a London-based jewellery house that has maintained a close relationship with the British royal family since 1843, when Queen Victoria appointed Garrard as the Crown Jeweller. Many of Garrard’s tiaras and jewels are still worn by members of the British royal family today.

Diana, Princess of Wales attends the opening of the Signal Point Tourism Centre in Goolwa on January 29, 1988 in South Australia (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

How many carats is Princess Diana’s engagement ring?

Inspired by a sapphire brooch given by Prince Albert to Queen Victoria (a piece she later wore at their wedding as her “something blue”) the design of Princess Diana’s engagement ring features a halo of 14 solitaire diamonds, set in 18K white gold, that encircles a 12 carat oval sapphire of Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka) origin. At the time it was purchased, the ring cost £47,000. Today, the ring is estimated to be worth about £300,000.

Princess Diana visiting the British American Benevolent Society during her official tour of Argentina (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Why did Princess Diana’s engagement ring spark controversy?

While it may be one of the most recognisable pieces of jewellery in history, not everyone was a fan of the iconic blue bauble. Instead of commissioning a one-of-a-kind design as was the royal custom, the then-soon-to-be princess selected the sapphire ring from Garrard’s existing catalog, which meant that it could also be available to anyone else who might have £47,000 to spare. And while it may seem a fitting choice for a royal dubbed “The People’s Princess”, it was one which reportedly did not sit well with the royal family.

Prince William and Kate Middleton pose for photographs in the State Apartments of St James Palace on November 16, 2010 in London (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
 A close up of Kate Middleton’s engagement ring as she poses for photographs in the State Apartments with her fiancé Prince William on November 16, 2010 in London (Photo by Arthur Edwards – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Who has Princess Diana’s engagement ring now?

The late princess continued to wear the sapphire engagement ring even after she and Prince Charles divorced in 1996. After her death, Prince Harry inherited it and gifted it to Prince William, who eventually used it to propose to Kate Middleton in 2010.

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