It seems more people are hoping to replicate the jewellery of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, as Garrard reported an uptick in popularity and sales for replicas of her iconic sapphire and diamond engagement ring.
“In one week alone in December we had three orders for them, and had to work flat out to make them in time for Christmas,” said Joanne Milner, Chief Executive at Garrard, in an interview with The Telegraph.
The popularity is credited to foreign buyers from Russia and China.
But Milner is quick to point out that these pieces are not exact duplicates of Diana’s – now the Duchess of Cambridge’s – iconic ring.
“We would never make an exact replica because we treat that ring like a bespoke piece, and every bespoke piece is strictly a one-off,” said Milner. The smallest version of a replica starts at around £5,000.
The late Diana, Princess of Wales, picked out her own engagement ring, a 12-carat oval Ceylon sapphire surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds set in 18-carat white gold, from a tray of rings selected by Prince Charles. At the time, it was noteworthy that Diana’s ring was not custom-made, it came from a catalogue.
Diana wore the ring throughout her marriage. The Prince and Princess of Wales divorced in 1996, and Diana kept the ring. After her tragic death, it became part of her estate, and her son, Prince Harry picked it as a memento to remember her by.
Eventually, Prince William came into possession of the ring and used it to propose to his girlfriend, the then-Kate Middleton, in October 2010. The Duchess of Cambridge has worn the ring ever since.
Garrard has supplied the Royal Family with jewellery for almost 300 years. The first royal to purchase something from Garrard? Frederick, Prince of Wales, son of King George II, who ordered an ebony handle tea kettle in 1735.