On November 27, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stood together hand-in-hand in the Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace in London, England, and announced their engagement to the world. For Royal watchers and jewelry fans, it was the first glimpse of the stunning engagement ring designed by Prince Harry and created by Cleave & Company, Court Jewelers and medalists to her majesty, The Queen.
Ring being deemed priceless
Markle’s engagement ring features three white diamonds: a large center diamond, flanked by two smaller diamonds set in a yellow gold band. The stones were specially selected by the Prince—the central diamond is from Botswana, where the couple recently holidayed together, and the other two diamonds are from his late mother, Princess Diana’s, personal collection.
According to diamond experts, a ring similar to Markle’s could retail between $300,000 to $350,000 if it were made of diamonds of the highest quality, or it could go for around a 10th of the price at $35,000 to $40,000 if the diamonds were of a poorer quality. However, Markle’s particular ring is being deemed priceless because of Prince Harry’s decision to include two diamonds that belonged to the late Princess Diana.
“There is no way for anyone to put a value on the whole ring,” said one expert. “Having diamonds from the royal collection that Princess Diana wore makes the ring priceless.”
In a press conference, Prince Harry explained that he wanted his late mother, who passed away 20 years ago this year, to be a part of the celebration, which is why he used diamonds from her personal collection of jewels to give to Meghan. “The little diamonds on either side are from my mother’s jewelry collection to make sure that she’s with us on this – on this crazy journey together.”
Is yellow gold coming back?
Prince Harry also said that the ring is yellow gold because it is Markle’s favorite. Is her ring and the Royal engagement helping to make yellow gold engagement rings popular? For the most part, yellow gold has never been that unpopular. For centuries, yellow gold has been considered the ultimate in luxury, going back to the ancient Egyptians. In the past decade, however, white metals — gold and platinum — have been the popular choice.
Whether or not yellow gold is the current trend, when selecting your engagement ring, it’s important to base your decision on what you personally prefer. If you can’t decide, experts suggest that yellow gold typically complements warmer skin tones, while white complements cool skin tones. Wondering what other A-listers chose yellow gold for their engagement ring? Actresses Halle Berry, Jennifer Aniston and Olivia Wilde all opted for a yellow gold engagement ring in recent years.
Understanding yellow gold
Pure yellow gold is actually a very soft metal, so in order to be used and worn as jewelry, it is necessary to mix it with another type metal – normally copper, silver, nickel, or zinc. If just pure yellow gold were used, the ring would soon be dented and misshapen.
The higher the karat—the amount of yellow gold—used in the metal, the warmer the yellow tone and the higher the price. Pure yellow gold is 24 karat, while most engagement rings are either 18k (75% gold and 25% alloy metal) or 14k gold (58% gold and 42% alloy metal).
For those on a budget, yellow gold can be a good choice, as it offers more flexibility when it comes to the color of the diamond you choose. Because your solitaire stone is not being placed next to a white metal, where it may compare unfavorably, it matters less if the color of the diamond you choose is down the lower end of the scale. Several designer engagement ring brands create some truly breathtaking pieces using yellow gold and many relish the opportunity to design something that has a vintage aesthetic.
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