It is reported that Duchess Kate had to have the large sapphire and diamond ring resized after William popped the question in Kenya because the original design by Garrard was a little too big. Instead of breaking and resoldering the band itself, jeweller G. Collins and Sons added small platinum beads inside the band to reduce its diameter, which is why the secret alteration has not been visible from the exterior.
And the best part? Not only does the smaller band allow Kate to wear her engagement ring to almost all events, but the changes can easily be reversed.
“It would be easier to think that by adding extra platinum, or by working on something, we increase or decrease its value, however….this item of jewellery is truly unique in the fact that its provenance has increased its true value considerably, and so these minor alterations won’t truly affect the price in any way,” explained diamond expert Anthony French at Austen & Blake.
“Especially with the small cosmetic change being something that can also be removed, and the ring put back to its ‘original’ state if need be,” he added.
Princess Diana reportedly selected this ring because it reminded her of her mother’s engagement ring, and it also matched her eyes.
According to The Court Jeweller, it would have cost approximately £28,500 at the time, which would make it worth £88,725 in line with the Bank of England’s inflation calculator today. However, other reports have suggested the value could be up to a whopping £300-400k.
Kate was pictured wearing her new ring alongside her co-ordinating blue frock at the couple’s official engagement announcement at St James’s Palace on 16 November 2010. Five months later, Kate and William exchanged vows at Westminster Abbey on 29 April 2011.
Kate isn’t the only royal bride who has altered her engagement ring though, as Meghan Markle also changed the precious ring she received from Prince Harry. Back in June 2019, a year and a half after we first saw Meghan’s beautiful ring, it became clear that the Duke and Duchess had redesigned her gorgeous sparkler.
The ring’s gold band was replaced by a delicate diamond-studded band, completely changing its look. The glowing band now perfectly complements her large African diamond and the two on either side from Princess Diana’s collection.
Royal watchers also spotted a third addition to the wedding and engagement ring, an eternity ring that HELLO! confirmed was in fact a gift from Prince Harry in honour of their first wedding anniversary on 19 May 2019. How thoughtful!