While we twiddle our thumbs impatiently waiting for Prince Harry to finally fulfill all our wildest dreams and propose to Meghan Markle, the only thing we can do in the meantime is fantasize about the gloriously extravagant affair that would be their wedding. What kind of dress will Markle choose, and which designer will be lucky enough to style such an iconic gown? Who gets the privilege of maid of honor? What will Kate Middleton wear? Will we get an invite?
While we're definitely getting ahead of ourselves and obviously don't know anything for sure, we asked jewelry experts to weigh in on their own predictions about Markle's potential future royal engagement ring. From price range to diamond cut, check out their prognosis.
Grant Mobley, gemologist and director of Pluczenik, one of the world's leading diamantaires, surmises that Prince Harry will follow in his brother's footsteps and choose a family jewel for Meghan Markle's possible engagement ring. Prince William proposed with their mother, Princess Diana's, sapphire engagement ring, which was designed by one of the Royal jewelers, House of Garrard. "Since this ring is no longer available, and given Harry’s unique character, there is a high possibility that he might dismantle an older piece of jewelry belonging to the Royal family and transform it into something new for his special lady," says Mobley. While Markle's favorite jeweler is rumored to be a young Australian woman named Natalie Marie, Mobley still thinks Harry's more likely to propose with a custom-made sparkler from a Royal jeweler.
So, which Royal gem would Harry choose? Mobley says one option could be dismantling emeralds from an Art Deco emerald and diamond choker that belonged to Queen Mary (Queen Elizabeth's grandmother), which Princess Diana wore several times and was custom-made by Garrard in 1921. As another equally enticing prediction, Mobley thinks Harry could use Princess Diana's eternity ring, a gift from her parents for her 18th birthday that she liked to pair with a simple gold band on her pinky finger. Or, Harry could use one of the smaller stones from the Cullinan Diamond, which is the largest gem-quality diamond ever found at a whopping 3,106.75 carats. According to Mobley, King Edward received it as a gift in 1907, and it has since been broken down into many large stones, 96 of which Queen Elizabeth inherited in 1953.
If Prince Harry continued to follow family tradition, Markle's ring would probably cost an arm and a leg with 10+ carats. But, according to Tanya Dukes, jewelry and fashion editor/stylist and former accessories editor at Brides, Markle definitely has a more understated jewelry style. "When it comes to jewelry, Meghan Markle sticks with under-the-radar pieces that have personal meaning, like a pendant with her Royal boyfriend’s initial or colorful beaded bracelets that she and the Prince both wear," says Dukes. "Even on the red carpet, she doesn’t go glitzy. A cascade of delicate layering necklaces or a drop earring is as flashy as she gets. Given her understated style and charitable inclinations, don’t expect Markle to go with an oversized, Kardashian-style sparkler that costs as much as a mansion."
Dukes guesses that Markle will steer clear of a colored gemstone to avoid comparisons to Kate Middleton's sapphire engagement ring. She envisions Prince Harry choosing a diamond solitaire with a simple, elegant silhouette. "I could easily picture her in an emerald-cut stone—maybe flanked by side stones for just a touch of extra sparkle," she says. "The shape is sophisticated and most appropriate for high quality diamonds. With the number of diamonds at the disposal of the British royals, the stone will probably come from the family’s coffers—quite possibly something his mother once wore. That would fit Markle’s preference for personal jewels."
Mobely concurs, predicting that Harry could also potentially give the Suits actress a dainty, smaller diamond. "It's likely that Harry will choose a piece that's more on the modern side of things to match Meghan’s relaxed, elegant, and chic (but also quite funky) style." As for the price tag, Mobley says there's no doubt it will be hefty. The ring has to be fit for a Princess of Wales, after all. He estimates upward of $100,000, and he thinks it will increase in value over time. If Harry chooses an older piece of family jewelry for the ring, the cost will probably skyrocket even more because of its obvious added history and value, according to Mobley.
If anything's for sure, Dukes says it's practically a certainty that Markle's wedding band will be made of Welsh gold. This has been a tradition in Harry's family since the days of his grandparents and, since Markle frequently wears yellow gold jewelry, Dukes also thinks it's highly likely Markle will also feature this metal in her engagement ring.
Now that the ring guesses are out of the way, we'll go back to trolling the Internet for any actual engagement news. Any day now! (BTW, Prince Harry, if you're reading this, here's how to figure out her ring size before the proposal.)