The 13 Most Expensive Royal Engagement Rings of All Time
Long gone are the days when a man in love could drop $1,000 on a ring and a future. Nope, the world’s most prestigious royals have set the bar for engagement rings way high. Kate Middleton’s royal engagement to Prince William dominated news headlines for months. And it seems Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s impending nuptials are about to do the same. Unfortunately for some, our obsession with the royal family traditions means expectations are higher than ever for our own engagement rings.
Those expectations will cost a pretty penny, too. As you’ll see by this ranking, it’s not just the British royals who spend obscene amounts of money on engagement rings (although they spend the most), it’s other monarchs as well. Here is a list of the world’s most expensive engagement rings we’ve seen to date, plus a couple that are a bit more reasonable. You know, just for sanity purposes.
13. Princess Sophia of Sweden
- Price: Around $13,400
Before she was a princess, Sofia Hellqvist was a model and reality TV contestant with a few PR blemishes to her name. So when Prince Carl Phillip — son of Queen Silvia and brother of Princess Victoria — proposed, it sparked a bit of uproar from Swedish citizens. But the backlash was a little easier to manage for Sophia once she was presented with a center-cut diamond ring surrounded by three interweaving bands of smaller diamonds. It is worth a cool £10,000, or about $13,400 U.S. smackaroos.
Next: An expensive ring brimming with national pride
12. Princess Mary of Denmark
- Price: $13,400
Color is in, even for the royals. Princess Mary of Denmark marked her royal engagement to Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, with an elaborate ruby cut diamond ring that matches the Danish flag. The two ruby baguettes are flanked by a white diamond to symbolize national colors. Surely a customized ring like this will cost. It’s priced around £10,000 and has since been paired with an 18-carat gold wedding band with 24 square princess-cut diamonds.
Next: An orange ring?
11. Queen Maxima
- Price: Between $20,200 and $202,200
Although originally from Argentina, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands was proposed to with a dazzling oval-shaped diamond ring. What makes this royal engagement ring so unique is its orange color, which is symbolic of the national color of the Netherlands. King Willem-Alexander shelled out a hefty chunk for this ring, as experts say it’s worth anywhere from £15,000 and £150,000 thanks to its rarity.
And that’s to say nothing of the golden crown she received as a wedding present when she married the then Prince in 2002.
Next: How much did Princess Diana’s ring cost?
10. Princess Diana
- Price: $36,000
The British Monarchy is known for their lavish engagement rings. Diana, the Princess of Wales, chose her engagement ring from a selection presented to her by Garrard Jewelers when Prince Charles proposed in 1981. The winner was a $36,000 18-carat oval sapphire surrounded by diamonds. Although priced reasonably in comparison to other British royal engagement rings, her ring is deemed priceless today, for reasons we’ll get to shortly.
Next: A ring that costs as much as some people’s college education
9. Princess Charlene of Monaco
- Price; Around $67,400
Prince Albert obviously inherited his good taste from his mother, Grace, The Princess of Monaco. He proposed to a former swimmer, Charlene Lynette Wittstock, with a beautiful 3-carat pear-shaped diamond surrounded by countless smaller white diamonds. The ring, designed by Jewelers Maison Repossi is valued at £50,000 — a chunk of cash many American commoners could fund a college education with. Sadly, the pair divorced in 1996.
Next: A red ring with a personalized touch
8. Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of Windsor
- Price: $114,000 (estimated)
Keeping with family tradition, Sarah Ferguson received a large oval ruby ring from Prince Andrew and Garrard Jewelers in 1986. Reports claim the Prince chose the ruby stone because it reminded him of his fiancées red hair. The ring is adorned with 10 drop diamonds arranged in a floral pattern on a yellow and white gold band. The exact value is unknown, but this Burmese Ruby ring prompted Clogau to craft a ring inspired by this style in 2011. Similar styles retail for $114,000 on Amazon, to put it in perspective.
Next: A trendy engagement ring worth some serious dough
7. Pippa Middleton
- Price: $120,000
Although not technically royalty, Pippa Middleton was renowned as the world’s most eligible bridesmaid during her sister’s and brother-in-law’s royal wedding nuptials. But not for long. When James Matthews dropped to one knee for Pippa’s hand in marriage, he did so with a 5-carat art deco engagement ring worth $120,000. The ring is a trendy Ascher cut diamond surrounded with an octagonal halo of smaller diamonds.
Next: A pricey engagement ring even celebrities wanted
6. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
- Price: Around $134,600
Prince Charles’ second engagement was to Camilla Parker-Bowles. He used a ring from his grandmother’s collection, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s, to ask for her hand. At the time of their engagement in 2005, the 1930’s art deco diamond ring was valued at £100,000, but its value today is ball-parked at £200,000, or $269,200.
Want to know what a square-cut central diamond centered around six diamond baguettes looks like? Just search for Angelina Jolie’s engagement ring from Brad Pitt. It’s said to be remarkably similar in style to Camilla’s jewelry.
Next: The Queen herself
5. Queen Elizabeth
- Around $134,600
The diamonds in Queen Elizabeth’s engagement ring are from a tiara that belonged to Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg. The 3-carat beauty is valued at a humble £100,000, or $134,600 today. But, as you’ll see, her royal engagement ring hardly holds a candle — in price, that is — to her successor’s charms.
Next: Why have one diamond when you can have three?
4. Sophie, Countess of Wessex
- Price: Around $141,500
The Queen’s youngest child, Prince Edward, proposed to Sophie Rhys-Jones with a ring from Garrard, the favorite British royal jeweler. The ring contains three diamonds: a two-carat oval diamond, surrounded by two heart-shaped gems. Of course, it’s set in 18-carat white gold and valued at more than £105,000, about $141,500 U.S. dollars.
Next: Kate Middleton’s ring
3. Kate, The Duchess of Cambridge
- Price: Around $500,000
Prince William reportedly carried Kate Middleton’s engagement ring in his pocket for three weeks before finally asking for her hand. Considering the ring’s legacy only gets richer with time, the oval 12-carat Ceylon sapphire surrounded by a cluster of 14 solitaire diamonds set in white gold was probably burning a hole in his pocket. When Princess Diana wore the same ring in 1981, it cost £28,500. Today, the ring Kate Middleton touts is estimated at nearly $500,000.
Next: The newest member of the royal family
2. Meghan Markle
- Price: Around $350,000
Prince Harry let William propose to Kate with their mother’s ring, but that doesn’t mean the ring Harry gifted his fiancé is any less significant to the monarch. The center stone is from Botswana, which is sentimental to the couple’s relationship. The ring also features two diamonds from Princess Diana’s personal jewelry collection that make this royal engagement ring truly one of a kind. Although the ring is certifiably priceless, experts estimate a monetary worth of at least $350,000.
Next: The most expensive royal engagement ring
1. Grace, The Princess of Monaco
- Price: $4.6 million (estimated)
Actress Grace Kelly became the Princess of Monaco after Prince Rainier III proposed. The first ring was interlocked diamonds and rubies, but the second one was truly fit for a princess. It was a 10.5 carat diamond stunner some consider priceless today. Others value the ring at a staggering $4.6 million — way higher than any other royal ring on this list.
Since her untimely death in 1982, the ring has been displayed in exhibits around the world, including Grace, Princess of Monaco: A Tribute to the Life and Legacy of Grace Kelly exhibit at Sotheby’s in New York in 2007.
Next: On the flip side, here are two princesses who sport modest engagement rings.
1. Queen Letizia Ortiz
- Price: Around $4,000
Spain is known for modest engagements. So naturally, King Felipe VI took a step back from the flash and proposed to Letizia Ortiz with a beautiful white gold eternity ring featuring 16 baguette diamonds valued at £3,000. She even exchanged the ring for a much simpler band years later and still hardly wears it in public. But before she racks up points for modesty, she did receive a priceless necklace from the family collection during her engagement as well. Not too shabby for a non-aristocratic woman who went from news anchor to Queen of Spain.
Next: A Scandinavian royal with simple taste in jewelry
2. Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden
- Price: Under $10,000
This Swedish princess is known and beloved by others for being a down-to-earth royal leader. Even her engagement ring is pretty simple by royal standards. It’s a round, diamond solitaire with little embellishment. Though Swedish tradition usually involves a simple gold band for engagements, she still kept it classy with a reasonable rock. Similar styles retail for less than $10,000 on Amazon.
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