It’s hard to miss Kate Middleton’s eye-popping diamond and sapphire engagement ring. The stunning 12-carat sapphire oval surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds is one of the most famous pieces of jewelry on the planet, but what is shocking to most is how much the ring is worth. Since Prince Charles proposed to Lady Diana with it in 1981, the value has skyrocketed, and its value is now a shocking six-figure sum.
According to the Daily Star, when Prince Charles gave the ring to Diana it was worth 28,500 pounds, or almost $38,000. In today’s money, if you just factor in inflation, that would be close to 100,000 pounds ($132,000).
But now, 36 years later, the ring has more than doubled in value and is worth nearly 300,000 pounds (almost $400,000). Middleton’s ring has increased in value despite the fact that the price of the average engagement ring has fallen at a rate of six percent over the last five years. In the U.K., an engagement ring costs an average of 1,080 pounds (nearly $1,500) according to state jewelry insurer Protect Your Bubble. A ring from a specialist jeweler can run you 3,000 pounds (almost $4,000).
Diana and Charles chose the ring while shopping at Garrard Jewelers of Mayfair, and it resembled the custom-made brooch that Prince Albert gave to Queen Victoria back in 1840, which is now a crown heirloom and owned by Queen Elizabeth.
When Diana died in a car crash back in 1997, she left two pieces of jewelry to her sons: her engagement ring and a Cartier watch. William and Harry each chose the item they wanted, and Harry chose the ring, while William chose the watch.
But, Reader’s Digest reports that the brothers had an agreement: whoever got engaged first would get the ring to give to their bride-to-be. Thirteen years later, William was ready to propose to Middleton, and Harry didn’t hesitate to give his brother the ring his mom had left him.
Now, the ring that most people are wondering about is the one that Harry will give to girlfriend Meghan Markle. Some speculate that he will convert his mother’s diamond and emerald headband into a ring for the Suits actress.
Tell us! Are you shocked by how much Kate Middleton’s engagement ring is worth? Let us know in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Adam Pretty/Getty Images]