The Cost and Other Factors Behind Princess Eugenie's Engagement Ring

Jack Brooksbank modeled the Padparadscha sapphire engagement ring after another family member's ring.
joyce chen wedding news expert the knot
by Joyce Chen
joyce chen wedding news expert the knot
Joyce Chen
Wedding News Contributor
  • Joyce writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, specializing in celebrity wedding features and pieces on wedding trends and etiquette
  • Joyce conducts interviews with real couples about how they’ve adapted to the challenges of wedding planning during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
  • In addition to The Knot Worldwide, Joyce also regularly contributes writing to Architectural Digest, Paste magazine, Refinery29, and TODAY.com
Updated Jan 14, 2022

Princess Eugenie of York's engagement ring is traditional in structure, but totally unique in construction. Amid a number of stunning royal engagement rings—Kate Middleton's dazzling sapphire engagement ring, previously belonging to Princess Diana; Meghan Markle's bespoke, three-stone ring; and Princess Beatrice's edgy Art Deco-inspired diamond ring—Princess Eugenie's bauble stands out, perhaps first and foremost, for its unique pink center stone.

The piece also gets major props for having the most thoughtful reason behind its creation. When her longtime love, Jack Brooksbank, proposed to her in Nicaragua in January 2018, he presented her with the pink sapphire engagement ring for this unbelievably sweet reason: "Why I loved it so much is it changes color from every different angle that you look at it, which is what I think of Eugenie," he told BBC during the couple's first post-engagement joint interview. "She changes color, and it's just so amazing." Read on to learn more about the details of Princess Eugenie's unique engagement ring, and other ways that it pays homage to the royal family.

In this article:

Princess Eugenie's Ring Design

The literal centerpiece of Princess Eugenie's engagement ring is the center stone: a rare gemstone called the Padparadscha sapphire, which has a soft pink hue different from the deep blue color most closely associated with the word "sapphire." (And of note: the term is pronounced "pad-pa-raj-a" and is a Sanskrit term meaning "lotus blossom." Even Brooksbank stumbled over the unusual word during the couple's joint interview with the BBC.) According to the Natural Sapphire Company, the rare stone can mainly be found in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Tanzania; by contrast, blue sapphires can be found in numerous countries around the world, including the aforementioned nations, as well as Thailand, Australia, and India.

Though the exact number of carats of the center stone hasn't been publicly revealed, experts have guessed that the sapphire might weigh in at around five carats, making it not only a rare find, but an extremely exclusive one as well. In close-up photos of the ring taken at Buckingham Palace for the couple's engagement photos, there appear to be about 10 round-cut diamonds surrounding the Padparadscha in a floral pattern, as well as two pear-shaped side stones with their points facing away from the center stone. The exact carats of the diamond halo are also unclear. The massive ring is set in a yellow gold band, with the metal around the diamond appearing to be platinum. The jeweler who created the ring has never been publicly revealed, which is rather unusual by royal family standards.

The Estimated Cost of Princess Eugenie's Ring

As with many of the royal family's engagement rings, the exact cost and value of Princess Eugenie's engagement ring are not widely known, though many experts have weighed in to guess how much the special sparkler might have cost. "It's a rare type of sapphire that resonates with collectors," Angelina Chen, the senior vice president, senior specialist in the jewelry department at Christie's in New York, told The Adventurine. "The color is [a] very specific shade of pink and orange and very few sapphires receive the designation of Padparadscha on a gem certificate. The gem-quality stones—ones with no heat treatment—can fetch anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 a carat at auction." Given that Princess Eugenie's ring features a stone that weighs an estimated 5 carats, then, it could easily be worth anywhere between $50,000 to $250,000.

Michael Arnstein, President of the Natural Sapphire Company, had a more modest estimate, placing the ring at anywhere between $35,000 and $55,000 — still hardly a value to sniff at. By means of comparison, the Duchess of Cambridge's iconic blue sapphire ring, which measures about 12 carats and was designed by royal jeweler Garrard, is worth approximately $500,000.

The History and Meaning Behind the Ring

When Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank first announced their engagement in January 2018, royal fans were eager to see the impressive ring on the young royal's finger, and the comparisons to Kate Middleton's own sapphire bauble followed soon after. And it wasn't hard to see where the comparisons came from: both the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Eugenie's rings feature a large center stone surrounded by a diamond halo (important to note here, however, that Kate's ring has a distinctly oval-cut stone, while Eugenie's is more round). Despite the comparisons to Middleton's iconic ring, Brooksbank's main source of inspiration was actually Princess Eugenie's mother, Sarah Ferguson's ring.

Royal fans will recall that Sarah, Duchess of York (better known as Fergie) was given a Burmese ruby ring surrounded by a halo of 10 diamonds by Eugenie's father, Prince Andrew, upon their engagement in 1986. In fact, Prince Andrew and Prince Charles' choice of rings are similar because they were both picked from royal jeweler Garrard & Co.'s catalogue in the 80s, hence the resemblance. (Kate Middleton's engagement ring from Prince William was originally Princess Diana's engagement ring, gifted to her by Prince Charles upon their engagement.) So even though Prince Andrew did technically design the engagement ring himself, jewelers do tend to have a house style, which is likely why Sarah Ferguson and Princess Diana's rings bear such similar features.

On October 12, 2018, Princess Eugenie and Brooksbank exchanged vows in a beautiful royal wedding ceremony at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, the same venue where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married several months earlier. The bride wore a Peter Pilotto gown that showed off a longtime scoliosis scar on her back and the regal Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara. She chose a wedding band made of Welsh gold, per tradition, a ring that undoubtedly paired well with her stunning yellow gold engagement ring. The couple welcomed their first child, a son, in February 2021.

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