The Most Classic Engagement Rings of All Time
It may seem shallow, but we all do it. The second a whisper is heard or an Instagram post is spotted about an engagement, the first thing many people think is: Let me see the ring. It’s not that we’re not supportive of the love and commitment between the couple, and we’re so happy for them. But it’s always fun to look at a little bling, and there’s a huge industry (and a lot of pressure) revolved around the engagement ring. While we know that love can’t—and shouldn’t—be measured by the size of a diamond, it never hurts to admire the gorgeous jewels that celebrities and royals wear. Whether heirlooms or new designs, these are the most classic engagement rings of all time. From obvious timeless engagement rings like the one worn by Kate Middleton and Princess Diana, to more recent celebrity engagement rings like fellow Southerner Reese Witherspoon’s, these classic styles are to-die-for. Much like the legacies of the women who wear them, these sparkling engagement rings have stood the test of time. Stylish, classy, and timeless—three things all Southern women can respect.
Prince Harry designed this ring for Meghan and made sure to include a piece of his mother. The two diamonds flanking the center stone were part of Princess Diana's personal collection.
Kate Middleton wears the same sapphire-and-diamond cluster ring that Princess Diana wore years before, which is arguably one of the most famous rings in history.
Jackie Kennedy’s engagement ring’s unique art-deco design features a diamond and emerald surrounded by diamond baguettes.
Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen’s engagement ring was made using diamonds from a tiara that her husband Prince Philip was given by his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg.
Actress Marilyn Monroe’s engagement ring given to her by famous baseball player Joe DiMaggio was a platinum eternity band encircled with 35 baguette diamonds.
Although Elizabeth Taylor had eight marriages and countless jewels, two of her rings were most famous. This ring, which features an almost-30-carat diamond, was from her third husband Michael (Mike) Todd, who died in a plane crash barely a year after their wedding day. Although not an engagement ring, the diamond now known as the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond, or the Burton-Taylor Diamond, was given to the actress by Richard Burton, who she met at the altar for her fifth and sixth weddings.
Pippa Middleton’s art-deco diamond engagement ring is a timeless shape and design.
Even though Prince Rainier III of Monaco proposed to actress Grace Kelly with a ruby-and-diamond eternity band, he later gave her this ring with an emerald-cut diamond and two diamond baguettes. Actor George Clooney proposed to his wife, lawyer Amal Alamuddin, in 2014 with a modern ring that also featured a large emerald-cut diamond flanked by two diamond baguettes, which proves the style’s timelessness.
Hollywood actress Norma Shearer chose this marquise-cut diamond ring from a tray of options that MGM executive Irving Thalberg gave her when he proposed in 1927.
Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor
American Wallis Simpson’s marriage to former King of Wales and Duke of Windsor Edward VIII ruffled many feathers, but her emerald engagement ring was undeniably beautiful.
Country singer Carrie Underwood received a canary-yellow diamond ring with a halo of diamonds from husband and hockey player Mike Fisher. Her wedding band is a nestled style that fits perfectly with her engagement ring.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Prince Charles proposed to Camilla with an emerald-cut diamond heirloom ring that belonged to his grandmother.
Nicole Kidman’s stunning engagement ring from one of our favorite country stars, Keith Urban, is a band with three diamonds surrounded by smaller diamonds.
Sarah, Duchess of York
Sarah Ferguson’s gorgeous ruby ring was reportedly a tribute to her red hair.
It’s confirmed by Jessica Biel that husband Justin Timberlake picked out her square-cut and vintage-inspired diamond engagement ring, but it’s rumored he actually designed it himself. The smaller round stones flanking the diamond are supposedly aquamarines, Biel’s birthstone.
Our September cover star Reese Witherspoon’s engagement ring from husband Jim Toth features an Ashoka-cut diamond with a pavé diamond-and-platinum band.