Recently, we’ve seen a more and more couples visit our stores in search of non-traditional engagement rings – from sapphires to emeralds to rubies and more. While this may seem like a recent trend – in jewelry, as in fashion – what goes around comes around.
In fact, non-diamond engagement rings actually carry hundreds of years of tradition, more specifically in the history of the British Royal family. We all know Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with Princess Diana’s spectacular oval sapphire – but what about the rest of the British royal family?
From the Queen Mother to Sarah, Duchess of York, the royal family has a century-long habit of wearing non-traditional engagement rings. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite pieces worn by royal brides.
Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother – Sapphire
Prince Albert, the Duke of York, proposed to Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon three times before she accepted his hand in marriage, as she was hesitant about taking on a royal lifestyle. When she finally agreed, Albert gave her a platinum sapphire engagement ring with diamond accents. Lady Elizabeth wore the sapphire ring along with a Welsh gold wedding band when she married the Duke and became Duchess of York in April 1923.