Meghan markle and the royal engagement ring
Prince Harry designed her stunning engagement ring himself with diamonds used from Princess Diana’s personal collection. The ring also bears royal and historical significance.
Before the happy couple announce their plans to wed, predictions suggested that Harry might propose with the Queen Mother's engagement ring, or perhaps her massive diamond-and-pearl ring, but Harry opted instead to create a custom piece. At the photo call in November, we caught our first glimpse of the ring, which was designed by Prince Harry and custom made by court jewelers Cleave and Company using one diamond sourced from Botswana and two smaller stones from Princess Diana's collection.
In speaking about the design of the ring, Harry noted that his decision to incorporate his mother's stones was similar to William's choice to give Catherine a ring of his mother's, as both hoped to have her along in spirit for their life's next chapter. Said Harry, "The little diamonds on either side are from my mother's jewelry collection to make sure that she's with us on this crazy journey together. "The large stone in the center has a hidden meaning, too. The diamond is originally from Botswana, which Harry often refers to as his “second home;” the couple also recently vacationed to the African country for Meghan’s birthday.
“I first went to Botswana in 1997, straight after my mum died. My dad told my brother and me we were going to Africa to get away from it all. This is where I feel more like myself than anywhere else in the world,” the Prince told . “I have this intense sense of complete relaxation and normality here.”
"It's incredible," Markle said of Harry's gesture. "Everything about Harry’s thoughtfulness and the inclusion of
and obviously not being able to meet his mom, it’s so important to me to know that she’s a part of this with us."
"It’s incredibly special to be able to have this [ring], which sort of links where you come form and Botswana, which is important to us. It's perfect," she told the BBC.
While Meghan has long favored gold for her jewelry, the royal family have been using pure Welsh gold for their wedding rings ever since the Queen Mother’s wedding in 1923. Welsh gold is gold that occurs naturally in two distinct areas of Wales and highly prized because of its origin and scarcity. One area it is found in is North Wales in a band stretching from Barmouth, past Dolgellau and up towards Snowdonia. This was mined at several mines, the largest of which were the Gwynfyndd Gold Mine, near Ganllwyd, and the Clogau Gold Mine near Bonttdu. In South Wales, it is found in a small area in the valley of the River Cothiat Dolaucathi where it is known to have been mined by the Romans. Much like her new sister-in-law, also wears a wedding band made of Welsh gold that was given to William by the Queen shortly after his engagement.
How Much Does Meghan’s Engagement Ring Cost?
Jewelry experts worldwide have differing opinions on the price–and whether Meghan's ring costs more than Kate’s.
Time Magazine reports that while many consider this particular piece to be "priceless" given its use of Diana's stones, a three-carat diamond like Meghan's ethically sourced Botswana gemstone could retail for as high as $200,000. If size was of the utmost importance, a three-carat diamond of lesser quality in color and clarity (but of the same cushion cut) could retail for as low as $80,000. While clarity, color, carat weight and cut are key factors in determining the price of any stone, odds are Harry chose a flawless stone for his future bride, leaving the price of the stone he sourced on the highest end of this sliding scale. TIME reports, "Prince Harry is following the lead of his brother Prince William, who gave Kate Middleton the 18-carat sapphire and diamond ring that once belonged to his mother. That ring reportedly cost 28,000 British pounds (or around $37,307, using modern conversion rates) when Prince Charles bought it back in 1981," but , the ring's worth has drastically risen in value over time, and now comes in at an approximate £300,000 ($500,000) price tag. (Note: Both Bustle and The Evening Standard report that the Duchess of Cambridge's stone weighs in at 12-carats, rather than 18 per TIME).
According to Bustle, who spoke with Grant Mobley, a gemologist and Director at Pluczenik, Markle's center stone is closer to 3-4 carats, with the side stones weighing in at around .75 carats each. With the understanding that the stones are flawless or close to, that math puts the ring closer to $200,000 in price, 2.5x less than the cost of the current market value of Catherine's ring. However, Mobley tells Bustle, "Diamonds not only maintain their value over time but they actually appreciate in value, unlike laboratory grown diamonds that have recently emerged in the diamond marketplace," Notes the site, "in other words, Markle's engagement ring could already be worth nearly as much as Middleton's rock, if not more." echoes Bustle's size and price quote of Markle's stunning ring, marking its value at up to $200,000 per industry experts. While the royal family will never release the exact cost Prince Harry paid for the ring, any expert asked also agrees that this particular ring–market value, carat weight, cut, clarity and color aside–is priceless given its place in history and its use of diamonds that once belonged to Princess Diana.
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