Princess Diana's engagement ring, an oval-shaped sapphiresurrounded by a halo of diamondsfrom King Charles III, is one of the most famous pieces of jewelry of all time (especially since it now resides on Kate Middleton's finger!).
Garrard, the London-based luxury jewelry firm that produced the famed sparkler, has released a contemporary line named Blaze, more than 40 years after Charles proposed.
The oval shape and dazzling color of Princess Diana's ring served as inspiration for the former Crown Jeweler's range of accessories.
The jeweler's 1735 collection, which was a more traditional depiction of the princess' engagement ring, served as inspiration for Blaze, which is an updated version of that line.
On September 4, 2023, Sara Prentice, the creative director of Garrard, described to The Timeshow she flipped the conventional notion of an oval ringed by stones on its head. She said this was how she came up with the idea.
Arguably the most famous engagement ring in history, Diana’s sapphire engagement ringwas encircled by a halo of diamonds, set in an 18-carat white gold. The 1735 classical cluster motif has been inverted throughout the jewels in the Blaze collection.- Sara Prentice
Prentice opted to remove the center stone and leave a hollow middle, encircled by an outline of smaller stones and another layer of larger matching jewels when designing the collection's rings.
In the other items of jewelry, the creative director likewise used negative space. She also used a trail of micro stones to accentuate the vacant oval form in the center of the curved pattern with the Blaze collection's earrings.
Color is also a focus of this new jewelry line, a nod to Princess Diana's distinctive sapphire.
"The colors of Blaze are an interpretation of the four previous gemstones of the 1735 collection: emerald, sapphire, ruby, and diamond," explains Prentice. "The collection of stones in each Blaze colorway was certainly not by chance." Each item of jewelry in the range has an array of stones in comparable shades to experiment with eye-catching hues.
The Princess Diana sapphire, for example, is joined by tanzanites, aquamarines, and turquoise, whilst ruby shines brighter when coupled with pink sapphires, rubellites, and opals.
Blaze offers a wide range of cuts in addition to a selection of colors. Rather than focusing on a single shape, such as Diana's oval, the collection includes cabochons, baguettes, ovals, and pears.
The end result? The missing circular center stone creates a textured look that contrasts with the usage of empty space. "In reality, the stone color and cut have been carefully considered to achieve a balanced aesthetic," Prentice explains.
"This took a long time working with the stones [and deciding] what should sit next to what, not only looking at the various tonal colors but also the translucency versus opacity, faceted versus cabochon, [and] straight-edged versus curved."
Princess Diana, according to Prentice, was the primary inspiration for the one-of-a-kind collection of vivid, textured diamonds.
Princess Diana was my muse for this collection, not just because of her Garrard cluster engagement ring, but because of her style, her elegance, and her attitude. Diana was a trailblazer, and Blaze was modern and bold, just as she was.- Sara Prentice
The new collection is available for purchase on the company's website, with prices ranging from $7,000 to $38,000.