Three Cheers!

// by Jocelyn Tolbert

Britain’s Prince Harry proposed to his now-fiancée, American actress Meghan Markle, in November 2017 with a ring he designed himself. The center stone (estimated at three to four carats) came from Botswana, a country the couple visited together. The two smaller flanking diamonds are from his mother Princess Diana’s jewelry collection, and the band is yellow gold—Markle’s favorite, according to a BBC interview with the prince. Clayton Bromberg, president of Underwood’s Jewelers and a certified gemologist, says that while client-designed rings and repurposing family heirlooms are two of the most common requests that Underwood’s gets, most grooms-to-be don’t end up doing that. “They want it to be unique, something special made only for her,” Bromberg says. “But they find out that some of the things they want to do don’t work.” Rings typically must be designed around the center stone, he says, and all the gems have to match—and it’s rare that one’s grandmother’s diamond from 1905 is perfectly cut and colored to match a modern center stone. As for the price on a ring like Markle’s, it’s hard to pin down. “Not knowing the quality of the diamonds—and I’m guessing they were higher quality diamonds—[the center stone] could go from $30,000 to a couple hundred thousand dollars,” Bromberg says. “And just because you can link those smaller diamonds back to Diana, it probably doubles the value of it. At least. Maybe more.” So, if your groom doesn’t have Prince Harry’s budget, be happy with a reputable retail jeweler’s ring instead.  —JT

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