Lesson #1: Big diamonds are a good investment.
The Krupp Diamond’s story combines romance and legendary diamond dreams. Weighing in at 33.19 carats, this Asscher-cut beauty was distinguished for its large size—and is what I personally love about it - who am I kidding? Richard Burton purchased the diamond at an auction in 1968 for $307,000 (over $2.1 million today). He presented the diamond to then-wife Elizabeth Taylor on their yacht while floating down the river Thames (sounds lovely if I do say so myself). When Taylor passed away in 2011, the diamond was sold for $8 million—not a bad return on investment if you are trying to convince your loved one you need that 33-carat diamond.
Editor’s note: I have tried this tactic on my husband; it has not yet worked.
Lesson #2: When in doubt, upgrade.
Prince Rainier of Monaco III first proposed to Grace Kelly in 1955 with a small eternity band. But he quickly realized that size does matter and upgraded Kelly to a whopping 10.47-carat emerald cut diamond from Cartier. The stunning center stone was flanked by baguettes to emphasize its impressive size. I would say yes to this ring too—even if it was on the second try.
Lesson #3: Sentimentality always wins out.
When the young emperor Napoleon went to buy his bride-to-be Josephine an engagement ring, he was quite poor, albeit rich in love. He purchased a ring with a pear-shaped diamond and pear-shaped sapphire ring. The ring was the precursor for what is now known as the moi et toi style. The two intertwined stones symbolize the merging of two souls and this romantic story wins my heart every time.
Lesson #4: Don’t be afraid to “do you.”
When Mel Ferrer and Audrey Hepburn married in 1954, Hepburn received three rings instead of the traditional single wedding band. The rings were intended to be worn individually (to match her outfits accordingly) or stacked; Hepburn mixed all three metals—white, rose and yellow gold—and stacked them on one finger. We know Hepburn best for putting the little black dress on the map and jewelry lovers may now recognize her for starting the stacked ring trend - which I would argue is perhaps a more important contribution to society.
Lesson #5: Family heirlooms are always a winner.
Prince Philip proposed to Queen Elizabeth with a 3-carat round cut stunner, flanked on each side with five pavé diamonds. The diamonds were family heirlooms, taken one was taken from his mother’s, Princess Alice, tiara—specifically a diamond and aquamarine tiara given to her by Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra of Russia. I’ve said it before and will say it again: I would pretty much marry anyone if they have a 3-carat round cut diamond in the family. Life is about choices and it's important to make good ones.