What's in a ring? Centuries worth of history, it turns out.
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Kate Middleton Engagement Ring 2
Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Fans of Kate Middleton's sapphire-and-diamond engagement ring could likely spot the signature piece from miles away (literally). But many may not know that its fascinating back story dates to 1840.

According to a new story from Vogue, the family heirloom was inspired by a brooch Prince Albert had made for his bride-to-be, Queen Victoria. In 1840, Prince Albert commissioned the esteemed British jeweler House of Garrard, founded in 1735 to make the bar pin. Victoria became so enamored by the work of art that she donned it on her wedding day, a mesmerizing blue-and-opaque twinkle reflecting off of her beautiful gown. The brooch became a royal family heirloom, and Queen Elizabeth has frequently sported the brooch over the years.

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Fast forward to the 20th century when Prince Charles was ready to pop the question to Diana. Prince Charles returned to Garrard to select a ring for Lady Di, and supposedly inspired by the brooch, opted for a sapphire-and-diamond cluster.

Kate Middleton Engagement Ring
Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

In 2010, Princess Diana's ring became a sentimental expression of love for then 28-year-old Prince William and his then fiancée, Kate Middleton. "It's my mother's engagement ring, and it's very special to me, as Kate is very special to me now as well. It was only right the two were put together," William said on a British news station, ITV.

Read the full story on Vogue here. Or start eyeing this sterling silver replication on Amazon that will set you back less than $20 here.