Hollywood & Pop Culture

What Is the Most Influential Diamond Engagement Ring Ever?

A Hollywood star who became a Princess popularized the eternally elegant style.

What Is the Most Influential Diamond Engagement Ring Ever?Grace Kelly’s emerald-cut diamond engagement ring by Cartier. Photo
Grace Kelly’s emerald-cut diamond engagement ring by Cartier. Photo Courtesy

There is an endless list of famous diamond engagement rings that have inspired brides to sport similar looks, but not one has endured quite like Grace Kelly’s.

The 10.48 carat Cartier engagement ring she received from Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956 is arguably the most influential diamond engagement ring of all time.

Boasting a massive emerald cut diamond flanked by tapered baguettes set in a platinum ring, the design—compounded with Kelly’s sensational style and the fairy tale quality of the couple’s union— was instantaneously cemented as the ultimate in glamour and elegance for brides. Of course, it didn’t hurt that when they walked down the aisle, Kelly was an Oscar-winning actress at the height of her career, and Rainier was the dashing young ruler of a principality on the French Riviera…

Find out more about some of the most famous rings influenced by Kelly’s stunner.

Elizabeth Taylor photographed around 1956 wearing her emerald cut diamond engagement ring from movie producer Mike Todd (at right)

Later in the same year Grace Kelly received her engagement ring from Prince Rainier, Elizabeth Taylor was given an even bigger emerald-cut diamond ring. When asked about the jewel, her fiancé, movie producer Mike Todd, joked with the press, “it was not quite 30 but twenty-nine and a half carats.”

Taylor called the ring, “my ice-skating rink.”

On March 22, 1958, Taylor’s marriage tragically ended when Todd was killed in a plane crash. Heartbroken, the star continued to wear the ring for years after.

When legendary singer Frank Sinatra proposed to Barbara Marx in the mid-1970s, he had a very Rat Pack way of doing things; four years into their relationship, Sinatra tossed two huge diamond rings on their bed and told Marx to pick one. After she chose the 20.60 carat emerald-cut diamond flanked by triangular shaped side stones in a platinum setting, Sinatra asked which finger she was going to wear it on. Ol’ Blue Eyes formally proposed when she said the third finger of her left hand.

The giant jewel was sold at Sotheby’s in the Lady Blue Eyes: Property of Barbara and Frank Sinatra sale on December 4, 2018. Experts who analyzed the stone reported it was best of the Best, which, in gemological terms, translates to D Color, VVS1 Clarity, Type IIa. It sold for $1,695,000.

Beyoncé wearing her emerald-cut diamond engagement ring by Lorraine Schwartz in 2011.

When Jay-Z finally and famously “put a ring on it” (”it” being Beyoncé’s finger), the gem was a giant emerald-cut diamond set in a micro pave split shank ring by Lorraine Schwartz. Its openwork split shank could easily be interpreted as a modern spin on the tapered baguette side stones in Grace Kelly’s jewel.

Experts have estimated that the stone in Queen Bey’s ring weighs anywhere from 18 to 24 carats. And the price was most likely in the stratosphere of over a million.

Amal and George Clooney and a detail image of her emerald-cut diamond engagement ring.

After years of saying he would never get married again, George Clooney surprised his fans when he proposed to human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin in 2014 with an emerald-cut diamond ring flanked by tapered baguettes—the exact style of Grace Kelly’s jewel.

While the ring’s designer has never been revealed, it has been reported that George, himself, was involved in its creation. For such a classic ring, this probably means that the actor participated in selecting details such as the center stone. And it goes without saying that he did well.

From the picture alone, it’s clear that Alamuddin’s stone is stunning; its carat weight is believed to be somewhere in the seven to ten range.

Instagram @jlo

On March 9, 2019, the emerald-cut diamond catapulted back into headline engagement ring news when Jennifer Lopez received one from Alex Rodriguez. The couple’s proposal photos included a close-up shot of the ring that has tapered baguettes flanking the center stone.

Months later Rodriguez tagged on Instagram Vivid Diamonds, the Miami-based jeweler who made it. Though neither the couple nor the jeweler have spilled the details of cost or carat weight, it’s easy to see the ring is right up there in the size of Grace Kelly’s jewel.