Princess Diana’s engagement ring famously features a 12-carat blue sapphire surrounded by 2 carats of diamond halo.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton), received the selfsame ring from Prince William.
And naturally, some people want a very similar ring.
Zales offers one that’s quite pretty for $2,800
It’s Zales item number 18244616.
You can see it live here, unless it’s sold out etc.
Zales doesn’t list the carat weight of the sapphires that go into the rings that they sell under that model name. But they do say it’s oval. And that it’s 10x8mm. That equates to right around 3 carats of weight, when we’re talking about a sapphire.
Can I beat that deal by going to my go-to engagement ring retailer, James Allen?
First I found this 3-carat sapphire. What you see is what you get here. You can zoom in and examine it closely. It’s one of a kind of course. And of course there may or may not be inventory/listings for exactly the same price. But I should be able to find something very similar. And I’ll do a personal search for you for free if you join my email list and ask me to.
Next I found a similar halo setting and added it to the gemstone. This is the two of them together:
Both rings have the same total carat weight of diamond halo: 0.5 carats. (Princess Diana’s ring has 2 carats of total diamond weight in the halo.)
One difference is that the James Allen setting I found also has diamonds down each shank. But the Zales ring, and Diana’s, has diamonds only in the halo.
Conclusion: For a 3-carat size, Zales is probably the better bet here, if you want an engagement ring in the style of Princess Diana’s and Kate Middleton’s.
Here’s why I think Zales is the better bet in this case:
- The style of the Zales setting is closer to the style of Diana’s. (James Allen may have a setting which is more closely derived from Diana’s, but I didn’t find it. On the other hand, the one I did find is pretty close, except for the diamonds on the shanks. And who doesn’t like more diamonds?)
- Zales has the better price in this case. Shocks me. But they do.
- Although the sapphire at James Allen can be examined closely, as an individual stone, I can’t say with great confidence that it is better. That’s because we don’t have any independent grading of either of these two gemstones. (That’s expected. Very few if any sapphires are graded by major third party labs such as the GIA, etc.) (At Zales, you can’t examine each sapphire gemstone you’re considering; you just take what they give you from their stock of rings, which are already pre-assembled.)
But James Allen also offers some smaller ones that are great deals.
Here’s one that I built for fun.
It’s easy to build one on your own quickly. Just go here and click on “Shop the Lookalike.”
The James Allen lookalike ring is smaller than the Zales offer. The sapphire is 8x6mm (around 1.5 carats) instead of 10x8mm (around 3 carats).
The James Allen ring also has fewer carats of diamond (0.12 carats) in the halo than the Zales offer has (0.5 carats of diamonds in the halo).