precious gemstones
precious gemstones

The Princess Diana engagement ring gets a 21st-century revamp

Garrard’s 1735 collection inspired by Princess Diana’s engagement ring, a classic oval sapphire surrounded by a halo of diamonds, has inspired a new collection. Blaze is a riotously coloured, highly textured range of contemporary jewels that plays upon the oval shape and classic colours of emerald, ruby, sapphire and diamond, but that’s where the similarities end.

Where 1735 is safe and elegant, traditional and classic, Blaze is flamboyant, kaleidoscopically coloured and quite unlike anything seen before from this very British house. For Garrard’s creative director, Sara Prentice, to create a modern range inspired by a classic motif would mean flipping the whole idea of an oval surrounded by stones on its head.

Earrings from the new Blaze collection

Earrings from the new Blaze collection

GARRARD

“Arguably the most famous engagement ring in history, Diana’s sapphire engagement ring was encircled by a halo of diamonds, set in an 18-carat white gold,” she says. “The 1735 classical cluster motif has been inverted throughout the jewels in the Blaze collection.”

That oval central stone? Gone. In its place is its outline, picked out in tiny diamonds or pink sapphires in the middle of a big cocktail ring, or suggested in part by the curve of a pair of ear climbers in verdant shades of green. And that’s where Blaze really comes to life — through colour.

“The colours of Blaze are an interpretation of the four precious gemstones of the 1735 collection: emerald, sapphire, ruby and diamond. The collection of stones in each Blaze colourway was certainly not by chance,” Prentice explains.

So those four big colourways (in gemstone speak “the big four”) are a riot of shades and cuts. Emerald is represented by deep-green sapphires, leaf-green tourmalines, bright green tsavorites and cool, opaque chrysoprase. Ruby gets the pink treatment with pink sapphires, magenta rubellites

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