The house of Garrard & Co has been creating unique and beautiful jewellery in London since 1735.
It created the sapphire and diamond brooch Queen Victoria wore to her wedding to Prince Albert, and it crafted 2,000 brilliant and rose-cut diamonds into Queen Mary’s consort crown, that now sits in the Tower of London as part of the Crown Jewels.
In 1981, Garrard’s also created possibly the most photographed engagement ring of all time – Princess Diana’s.
The then Lady Diana Spencer selected an intense blue, oval-cut sapphire, surrounded by a halo of white diamonds, for her ring. Set in 18-karat white gold, within days it was the most famous – and copied – ring in the world.
It now belongs to the late royal's daughter-in-law, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, who received it when Prince William proposed in 2010.
“It’s a wonderful jewel,” explains Sara Prentice, creative director at Garrard. Describing the quality of the central stone, sourced from Sri Lanka, Prentice continues: “The sapphire is astonishingly beautiful, and the proportions of the ring and the size of the diamonds work very well together.”
Now, in a collection that celebrates its founding year, Garrard is launching a new line of engagement rings inspired by Princess Diana's 1981 original.
Called the 1735 Collection, it features two rings that closely echo the original, with white diamonds surrounding a central, large stone. Showing an evolution in the design, the new 1735 Collection can be set with a central sapphire, but is also available with a ruby, aquamarine or emerald. The collection also extends to a pendant and earrings.
The 1735 Oval Sapphire and Diamond Ring has a deep-blue sapphire encircled by a halo of white diamonds that continue around the band, while the 1735 Double Cluster Ring has not one, but two circles of white diamonds surrounding the gem, before continuing down the band.
Despite its storied heritage, Garrard is constantly fine-tuning its designs to fit the modern world, such as raising the centre of the ring very slightly, so a wedding band can fit underneath.
“We are always focused on the little details, so the collection has been refined over the years to suit contemporary tastes,” explains Prentice.
Refined, elegant and with a nod to royal history, this new collection brings the design up to date, while retaining the air of expectant romance of the royal original.