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British royalty to drive tastes for three-stone designs at CARAT+


The three-stone royal diamond ring worn by U.S. actress Meghan Markle, engaged to Britain’s Prince Harry, is influencing popular diamond cuts, triggering a trend for three-stone cushion-cut rings in similar designs.

Diamond jewellers attending the UK-based Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ) buying event in Birmingham, England, from March 4-5, said the royal engagement announcement had sparked a jump in enquiries for similar diamond cuts to Meghan Markle’s ring.

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Prince Harry designed the three-stone engagement ring that he gave to Ms Markle, which includes two diamonds from the jewellery collection of his late mother Princess Diana.

The main focus of the ring is an elongated cushion-cut centre stone from Botswana, where the couple holidayed, and is flanked by two round brilliant cut diamonds from Princess Diana’s jewellery collection.

“We’ve seen increased inquiries for scaled-down versions of the Meghan Markle ring – for example, a rectangular cushion cut, with two classic round brilliants,” said Roger Taylor of Birmingham-based Clark Diamonds.

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Dominic Shotton of Fred E. Ullmann also noted increased inquiries for diamond jewellery inspired by Meghan Markle’s ring.

The ring worn by Ms Markle was created by court jewellers and medallists to Her Majesty the Queen, Cleave and Company.

Ms Markle and Prince Harry will tie the knot on Saturday May 19, at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.

Designed within hours of the royal engagement announcement in November, online retailer Jewlr revealed that its replica ring, ‘The Duchess’, had quickly become its best-selling engagement ring style since it went live.

Miss Markle’s engagement ring, perhaps especially because it was designed by Prince Harry, should see strong sales in similar trilogy designs between now and at least several months after the May wedding.

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Diamond jewellers at the CMJ Trade Event spoke of steady demand for round and oval cuts, and some saw declining interest in princess cuts. Round diamonds are straightforward to set in jewellery and account for most sales of finished diamonds, the jewellers said.

“We have seen steady demand for round diamonds, and regular busy trade in coloured stones,” said Adrian Bates of Birmingham-based Bates & Sons Ltd.

Among coloured gemstones, the pink Padparadscha sapphire worn by Britain’s Princess Eugenie (who is also getting married in 2018), is likely to stimulate enquiries for more readily available stones in pink and orange colours, jewellers said.

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Words by David Brough

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CARAT+ is The World’s Premier Diamond Event, covering the full spectrum of the diamond and diamond jewellery trades. The show specialises in four sectors: loose diamonds, branded diamond jewellery, non-branded diamond jewellery and services for the diamond jewellery industry.

Taking place in Hall 1 and Hall 4 of the Antwerp Expo on 6, 7 and 8 May, entry to the show is restricted exclusively to industry professionals, including diamond and jewellery wholesalers and manufacturers from around the world, and jewellery retailers from across Europe and the wider world. 

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