With news that Kate Middleton has had Princess Diana’s – now Kate’s – Ceylon Sapphire engagement ring resized to stop it falling off, we thought we’d look at the story behind the precious gem.
The beauty is set to marry Prince William in two weeks’ time, 29th April, and was given the prince’s late mother’s ring when he popped the question while on holiday in Kenya last year.
Two princes, one ring
Apparently it was the younger Prince Harry that inherited the ring in 1997 after Diana’s death, but when he knew the proposal to Kate Middleton was imminent he wanted Prince William to have the ring as he felt the engagement band should belong to the future Queen of England.
Estimated to be worth £32 million the ring focus is a 12 carat, oval cut Ceylon Sapphire and was chosen by Princess Diana of Wales for her own engagement in 1981. The particular vivid shade of the gem is called Cornflower Blue and is surrounded by 14 diamonds on a thin gold band.
Blue sapphires of Sri Lanka that occur as pebbles in the river basins are among the largest sapphires in the world, weathered and rolled by the streams they travel in over long distances. Much of Sri Lanka’s gemstones, and not just the blue sapphires for which the country is most famous, were formed over millions of years by slow, steady metamorphic alterations, either disturbances in the earth’s crust or the effects of heat and pressure form igneous rocks.
Blue Ceylon Sapphires are elusive and disparate jewels, dependent on the fanciful turns and velocities of rivers and tributaries across the island. Their distinction lies not only in the colour – an ethereal blue, but also its clarity and transparency. The Cornflower Blue Sapphire, like Kate’s, is the most sought after shade.
Kate you lucky girl!
*Source + Images www.ceylonsapphire.co.uk