Why the Emerald Cut Diamond Engagement Remains The Most Famous Engagement Ring Ever

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

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Grace Kelly wearing emerald cut diamond engagement ring
Grace Kelly’s emerald-cut diamond engagement ring by Cartier. Photo Courtesy

The Emerald Cut: A Vintage Engagement Ring

There is an endless list of famous celebrity 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 diamond 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 baguette diamonds 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 diamond rings influenced by Grace Kelly’s engagement ring.

Elizabeth Taylor's engagement ring was an emerald cut diamond engagement ring with a platinum band from
Elizabeth Taylor photographed around 1956 wearing her emerald cut diamond engagement ring from movie producer Mike Todd (at right)

Later in the same year that 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 diamond engagement 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 trilliant 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.

From Past to Present: The Modern Celebrity Engagement Ring

Beyonce's engagement ring is an emerald cut diamond engagement ring with a platinum band from Lorraine Schwartzv
Beyoncé wearing her emerald-cut diamond engagement ring by Lorraine Schwartz in 2011.

When Jay-Z finally and famously “put a ring on it,” Beyonce’s engagement ring 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 diamond 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 Clooney's engagement ring is an emerald cut diamond engagement ring with a platinum band
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 baguette diamonds—the exact style of Grace Kelly’s diamond jewel.

While the diamond ring designer has never been revealed, it has been reported that George, himself, was involved in its creation. For such a classic diamond engagement 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 Amal Clooney’s engagement ring is stunning; its carat weight is believed to be somewhere in the seven to ten range.

Jennifer Lopez's engagement ring proposal by Alex Rodriguez
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 Jennifer Lopez’s engagement 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 diamond 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.