There's something mysteriously magical about the British royal family. When it comes to their trips, wardrobes, and of course, weddings, us "common-folk" can't seem to get enough. Not too long ago, the engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had everyone up in arms as countries all over braced themselves for yet another spectacular royal wedding. While, yes, the engagement was thrilling, the ring was even better.
This got our wheels turning as nostalgia of royal's past engagement rings popped into our heads and curiosities about each of their royal rocks lingered. In order to squander all our wonder, we reached out to private jeweler and founder of The Clear Cut, Olivia Landau, to educate us on the history behind a few of our favorite royal engagement rings. From the exact diamond cut to fun facts about each ring, ahead you'll get to take a sneak peek into the intricacies of each ring you've grown to know and love, plus have the opportunity to shop similar rings. You know, in case you're in the market for that sort of thing.
"Prince Harry designed Meghan’s three-stone engagement ring himself. The center diamond, which appears to be an approximately 2.5- to 3-carat cushion cut, was sourced from Botswana, a country near and dear to the couples’ heart since it was the first place they vacationed together. The cushion cut is flanked on either side by two round brilliant side stones. The round side stones, which appear to be about a half carat each, once belonged to his late mother Princess Diana. The diamonds are set in a delicate yellow gold ring with a white gold or platinum basket.
"Pro-tip: If you opt for a yellow gold band, consider setting the diamond in a white gold or platinum basket to ensure the diamond will appear whiter and brighter!"
"Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with Princess Diana’s sapphire engagement ring. Princess Diana chose the ionic 18 carat sapphire oval ring herself. The oval sapphire is framed by 14 round brilliant diamonds and set in a white gold ring. Kate’s ring has put colored gemstones back into the forefront.
"Pro-tip: If you are considering a colored gemstone for your engagement ring, make sure you consider the hardness of the stone. A gemstone’s hardness is measured on the Mohs 10-point scale. The higher the score, the more resistant the gemstone to scratches and chips. Diamonds are a perfect 10 followed by sapphires and rubies, which are both nines. This means that the gemstone will be more resistant to scratches and chips."
"Although she may not be an official royal, Pippa Middleton is still part of the fam, and her engagement ring is one of my favorites! James Matthews proposed to Pippa Middleton with a stunning Art Deco–style ring. The center diamond is an approximately 3 carat Asscher-cut diamond, a very popular cut from the 1920s. The center stone is surrounded by an octagonal frame of smaller round brilliant diamonds and set in white gold or platinum.
"Pro-tip: If you opt for an Asscher-cut diamond, keep in mind that they appear a bit smaller than most other diamond cuts since they hold more weight in the bottom. Also, asschers have step-cut facets so you can see more easily into the stone. You will want to choose a diamond with a higher clarity to make sure inclusions are not visible to the naked eye."