There have been many beautiful engagement rings worn by famous women throughout history. Pippa Middleton’s wedding over the weekend inspired us to take a look at some of these beautiful rings and the women who wore them.
Mary of Burgundy
It is believed that the first diamond engagement ring was given by Archduke Maximilian of Austria when he proposed to Mary of Burgundy with a ring set with thin, flat pieces of diamonds in the shape of an “M.”
Joséphine de Beauharnais
As a symbol of his love for his wife-to-be Joséphine, Napoleon Bonaparte presented her with a diamond and sapphire engagement ring. The gold ring is adorned with two pear-shaped stones – a blue sapphire and diamond that rest side by side facing opposite directions. The ring recently sold at auction for $949,000.
Queen Elizabeth II was presented with this 3 carat diamond solitaire engagement ring from Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, which came from his mother’s tiara. They married in 1947.
John F. Kennedy proposed to Jacqueline Kennedy with a diamond and emerald engagement ring. The ring consisted of one 2.88-carat diamond mounted next to a 2.84-carat emerald with tapered baguettes. In 1962, a total weight of 0.66 carats of round diamonds and 1.46 carats of marquise diamonds were added to the ring.
Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were married on January 14, 1954 in a judge’s chambers at San Francisco’s City Hall. Marilyn did not have an engagement ring, however, wore this beautiful platinum eternity band set with 35 baguette-cut diamonds.
Prince Rainier III originally proposed to Grace Kelly with a Cartier eternity band of diamond and rubies. After a trip to Los Angeles, the Prince realized that all the actresses were wearing large diamond engagement rings. He then promptly purchased this 10.47 emerald-cut diamond engagement ring by Cartier. Stunning!
Richard Burton famously purchased a 69.42 carat pear-shaped diamond from Cartier for his wife Elizabeth Taylor. The diamond was originally owned by Harriet Annenberg Ames. It was subsequently purchased at auction by Robert Kenmore, owner of the luxury brand Cartier for a then record $1,050,000. It is regarded as the world’s first million-dollar diamond.
As you’d probably imagine, Kanye West proposed to KK in the most understated way possible, renting out a sports stadium, hiring a 50-piece orchestra and plastering his proposal on a scoreboard. Oh, and then there was the 15-carat, $5 million engagement ring he slipped on her finger.
Queen Bey’s $5.8 million dollar 18 carat diamond is the most expensive on our list. Set in platinum, it’s value has more than doubled since husband, Jay Z proposed in 2008. Yep, he put a very big ring on it.
Princess Diana and Duchess Katherine
And probably the most famous engagement ring of all time, the ring Prince Charles gave to Princess Diana in February 1981. The engagement ring consists of 14 solitaire diamonds elegantly surrounding a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire set in 18-carat white gold. It was created by jeweler Garrard.
Years later, Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with the same oval sapphire and diamond engagement ring that belonged to his mother, Princess Diana. The proposal took place on a trip the two took to Kenya. Prince William carried the ring around with him in his backpack for three weeks in Africa before he finally found the perfect moment to propose.