The Hollywood actress actually has two engagement rings from Prince Rainier.
Grace Kelly's name is synonymous with timeless, classic Hollywood style. So it should come as no surprise that her engagement ring has been described as such, too. From the moment Kelly met Prince Rainier III of Monaco at the Cannes Film Festival in 1955, her life has become the stuff of fairy tales. The couple embarked on a months-long, distanced courtship; Rainier eventually traveled to the actress's hometown in Philadelphia that Christmas to propose.
The initial engagement ring that the royal presented to Kelly wasn't the one that is most associated with the To Catch a Thief actress today—though it was, arguably, no less meaningful. The lesser-known engagement ring was a Cartier eternity band comprised of heirloom rubies and diamonds, with the red and white of the jewels symbolizing his home country's flag. (Some say the eternity ring was always meant to be a placeholder for the later engagement ring, while others say that the second engagement ring came about by chance.) So how did Kelly's 10.48-carat Cartier emerald-cut engagement ring actually enter the picture? Read on to find out.
In this article:
- The Design
- The Cost
- The History and Meaning
The engagement ring most associated with Grace Kelly is an impressive 10.48-carat ring purported to be one of the priciest celebrity jewels in history. Designed specifically for Kelly by Cartier, the ring features a large emerald-cut diamond flanked by two baguette-cut side stones. (Kelly's choice of the classic emerald-cut diamond has sparked innumerable copycats throughout history, including other celebrities who chose similar diamond engagement rings, like Amal Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, and Liz Taylor.)
The actress's relationship with Cartier reportedly began through film director Alfred Hitchcock, who had worked with Kelly on several films. Hitchcock introduced Kelly to the House of Cartier, and from there, the actress and designer collaborated many times. In fact, there is an entire room in Cartier's mansion in New York City that pays homage to Princess Grace.
The Princess of Monaco's second Cartier engagement ring reportedly cost a jaw-dropping $4 million to make, a high price tag even among other celebrity and royal engagement rings. By contrast, another much-buzzed-about engagement ring, Kate Middleton's (previously belonging to Princess Diana), is worth an estimated $500,000 today. Even Jacqueline Kennedy's engagement ring, which cost an estimated $2.6 million to make, didn't reach quite the levels of extravagance that Kelly's did. According to Jewellry Box, Kelly's diamond engagement ring is worth an estimated $38.8 million today, making it one of the most expensive of all time. Presently, the Cartier engagement ring belongs to the House of Grimaldi.
The History and Meaning
Following their engagement in the winter of 2010, Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier announced the happy news to the public in a press conference from her family home in Philadelphia. At that time, the Oscar winner was still wearing her first engagement ring. It wasn't until the actress was set to film High Society, the last film she would star in before retiring from Hollywood, that the second engagement ring would enter the picture.
Rumor has it that Kelly needed to wear an oversize engagement ring for the film, and when Prince Rainier caught wind of this, he offered to buy Kelly a real one instead of having her wear a fake one procured by the costume department. The actress naturally agreed, and Rainier commissioned Cartier to create the 10.48-carat emerald-cut diamond engagement ring that has now become synonymous with Kelly's name.
The ring is a prominent part of the film itself: in the movie, Kelly plays a wealthy socialite pursuing relationships with three love interests, including her fiancé, who gifted her a diamond engagement ring. In one scene of the movie, another character actually remarks on the size of the diamond; in yet another, Kelly can be seen polishing the ring and admiring it. Knowing that the diamond ring is, in fact, Kelly's real-life engagement ring only adds to the intrigue surrounding the ring and the story behind it.
Kelly and Rainier got married in 1956, with the princess donning a now-iconic lace and silk taffeta wedding dress that all but overshadowed the royal wedding itself. And just as she had two engagement rings, Kelly also donned two different wedding outfits: the first, and lesser-known, one was a pastel pink fitted dress that she wore for their civil ceremony the day before their big religious ceremony. The couple would go on to enjoy 26 years of marriage and had three children together before she suffered a stroke and died from injuries sustained in a car accident in 1982.
Following her untimely death, both of Kelly's enduring engagement rings were given to the House of Grimaldi for safekeeping. Of Kelly's timeless style, legendary designer Oscar de la Renta famously said, "On her wedding day, Grace Kelly gave new meaning to the word icon. Her whole look, from the regal veil to the feminine lace details and the conservative gown, made her an ageless bride."
Grace Kelly's engagement ring from Prince Rainier III of Monaco made history because of its size and cost at the time. Grace Kelly's famous engagement ring is a 10.48-carat Cartier ring, and it's one of the priciest pieces of celebrity jewelry in history. The incredible ring cost $4,060,000 in 1956.Why did Grace Kelly have 2 engagement rings? ›
The Prince had heard the costume designer was going to source a fake ring for Kelly's character when he offered to buy his wife-to-be a real ring which could also be her second engagement ring. Grace's second engagement ring was a 10.48-carat Cartier emerald-cut engagement ring, flanked by two baguette-cut side stones.What was Grace Kelly's original engagement ring? ›
Prince Rainier presented Kelly with was an eternity band-style ring made up of alternating rubies and diamonds, a nod to the colours of Monaco's flag. The piece is widely reported to have been made by Cartier. Kelly shows off her initial engagement ring, an eternity band of rubies and diamonds.Who owns Grace Kelly's engagement ring? ›
The couple would go on to enjoy 26 years of marriage and had three children together before she suffered a stroke and died from injuries sustained in a car accident in 1982. Following her untimely death, both of Kelly's enduring engagement rings were given to the House of Grimaldi for safekeeping.What was Grace Kelly's most expensive wedding ring? ›
Kelly made headlines following her engagement to Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Cartier designed the actress' stunning 10-carat emerald cut ring, which is worth $44.3 million when adjusted for inflation.
What does a two-stone engagement ring mean? Each and every engagement ring carries a unique and intimate meaning for the couple who chooses it. But for many, the two prominent gemstones in a two-stone ring symbolize two hearts becoming one. Some couples even choose to include their two birthstones in the design.Why did Megan Fox take off her engagement ring? ›
A source told People that Fox, 36, and Kelly, 32, “haven't officially called off the engagement but Megan took her ring off” following a disagreement over the weekend — and that Fox is “very upset” and won't speak to her musician beau.What did Grace Kelly's engagement ring look like? ›
It was an epic ring featuring a stunning 10.48-emerald cut diamond flanked by two baguettes set in platinum. Kelly wore it in MGM publicity photographs and her final film High Society rapidly making it one of the most famous engagement rings in the world.How many carats was Grace Kelly's wedding ring? ›
Grace Kelly's engagement ring from Prince Rainier III of Monaco made history because of its size and cost at the time. Grace Kelly's famous engagement ring is a 10.48-carat Cartier ring, and it's one of the priciest pieces of celebrity jewelry in history. The incredible ring cost $4,060,000 in 1956.Who paid for Grace Kelly's wedding? ›
By any standard, the star would be considered quite a catch, but her family actually had to pay the Royal Family of Monaco a huge dowry in order for the marriage to happen.
Actress Grace Kelly lost her Hollywood millions after she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco. A new documentary says that the Oscar winner paid a $2 million dowry to the House of Grimaldi. When she died, Kelly had $10,000 to her name and a rundown family cottage in Ireland.How much did Blake Shelton pay for the engagement ring? ›
The real jaw-dropper, though, is the calculated price tag—an estimated value of $500,000! Her one-of-a-kind sparkler is flanked with two trapezoid side diamonds, adding to its unique and opulent style.Who has the most expensive ring in the royal family? ›
While Princess Catherine made the top ten—along with Queen Elizabeth and Camilla Parker Bowles—she didn't top the list. Instead, Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan claimed the number one spot. According to the experts at Steven Stone, the monarch has the most expensive royal engagement ring, worth around $1.5 million.What is the most expensive engagement ring in history? ›
- The Graff Pink Diamond Ring - $46 million. ...
- The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond Ring - $8.8 million. ...
- The Blue Moon Diamond Ring - $48.4 million. ...
- The Mariah Carey Diamond Ring - $10 million. ...
- The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Diamond Ring - $2.6 million.
The most expensive engagement ring is the Cartier ring once owned by Grace Kelly. The $38.8 million ring now belongs to the House of Grimaldi and is considered the most expensive engagement ring in the world. What is the most expensive ring in the world in 2023?How much did Grace Kelly's engagement ring cost? ›
Grace Kelly's famous engagement ring is a 10.48-carat Cartier ring, and it's one of the priciest pieces of celebrity jewelry in history. The incredible ring cost $4,060,000 in 1956. Today, the diamond ring would cost about $38,866,738.Why do some engagement rings have two bands? ›
Double band engagement rings guarantee you're looking at at least three bands when you add a wedding ring. We also have brides that stack two wedding bands on either side of the engagement ring, for a more symmetrical stacked look.Did Meghan Markle switch her engagement ring? ›
All three gemstones were set on a yellow gold band—which was Markle's favorite metal at the time—that royal jeweler Cleave and Company crafted. However, the duchess swapped the original band for a micro-pavé one after she gave birth to the duo's first child, Prince Archie.