As the UK headed into the depths of winter, we were treated to a little bit of positive news – with a dash of Hollywood glamour thrown in for good luck.
When Prince Charles’ youngest son, Harry, found the right person for him to spend the rest of his life with, it was always going to cause a bit of a stir. The fact that his future wife is Megan Markle, star of US television hit, Suits, philanthropist and yoga fanatic, means that all eyes were on the couple when they announced their engagement at the end of November 2017.
With the world checking out every outfit Miss Markle wears, the team at Hopkins & Jones, central London jewellers and pawnbrokers, are more interested in her stunning engagement ring. Jim Tannahill, from Hopkins & Jones, said “We always keep a keen eye on the jewellery that the Royal Family wear. Not simply a jeweller in London, we are also a pawnbroker and so it is important for us to understand current and future trends in both rings and jewellery, as much for the retail element of the business as well as the fixed term loan side too. With Buckingham Palace just under a mile down the road, we often see an impact in the high-end watch and jewellery brands we deal with after they are worn by members of the Royal Family, such as the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall.”
The two most well-known Royal engagement rings of the 1980s followed a trend of their own, with a striking colour stone surrounded by diamonds; Diana, Princess of Wales, sported a sapphire, while Sarah, Duchess of York, had a central stone of ruby. When Prince William opted to propose to Catherine Middleton with his mother’s ring, we were yet to see how modern Royal engagement rings trends would look in the new millennium. With Harry and Megan’s announcement, it all became clear.
There are many different styles of engagement ring to choose from, yet the iconic engagement sparkler is, without doubt, the diamond solitaire. Ever stylish and willing to push beyond the boundaries of the solitaire setting, Harry has managed to design a ring that is both modern but classic – and it has sparked a lot of interest in the trilogy setting.
Megan’s ring features a cushion cut diamond, of at least 2 carats, surrounded by two round diamonds. The stones are set in white gold, with the band in yellow gold. Harry’s design, however, goes far beyond appearance with each element of the ring signifying an important part of the couple’s story.
More than simply extra adornment, the two round side stones belonged to Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana, meaning that the ring will have great sentimental value attached to it.
The team at Hopkins & Jones were thrilled with Harry’s choice of central stone – a diamond from Botswana. While the team appreciate the personal link to one of Harry and Megan’s favourite go-to spots in the world, they were delighted to witness Harry’s support for the Botswanan diamond industry. Botswana plays a huge roll in world diamond production, with the gem industry transforming the former British colony one of Africa’s more stable and prosperous nations. Harry’s diamond revenue will go directly back into the Botswanan economy, leaving the couple’s positive footprint in a country that means so much to them.
The trilogy design is also symbolic with the three-stone setting said to represent friendship, love and fidelity, as well as past, present and future.
Jim Tannahill concludes “As both jewellers and pawnbrokers, we work hard to monitor current trends as it can have quite an impact on the future worth and value of any piece of jewellery. Watches, such as Breitling and Cartier, regularly perform well at auction, with Rolex consistently fetching new record amounts. The same can be said of many gemstones, but especially of diamonds. Buying real diamonds is an investment worth considering. Diamonds not only maintain their value over time but they actually appreciate in value.”