It's safe to say that engagement rings are an expensive--and meaningful--investment. But just like everything else, celebrities take things to a whole new level when they get down on bended knee. An engagement ring, usually worn on the left hand ring finger, is a ring indicating that the person wearing it is engaged to be married. It's a prevalent tradition throughout many Western cultures and can feature luxurious diamonds and other gemstones as well as precious metals like gold and silver.
Ancient Egyptians are sometimes credited with having invented the engagement ring and the ancient Greeks with having adopted the tradition, but the history of the engagement ring can only be reliably traced as far back as ancient Rome. The first well-documented use of a diamond ring to signify engagement was by the Archduke Maximilian of Austria in imperial court in Vienna in 1477 upon his betrothal to Mary of Burgundy.
This event later influenced those of higher social class and of significant wealth to give diamond rings to their loved ones, a custom that became a common practice among aristocrats and royalty. Ever since the end of the Great Depression, diamond engagement rings have become a standard custom among traditional Western cultures. Last year, the reported average cost of an engagement ring was $5,200. The following list includes engagement rings from some of the world's richest and most well known celebrities, who happened to spend much more than the average four figure price.
Read on to see the top five most expensive engagement rings in the world--and see who beat out Beyoncé's ring for the top spot.
5. Jennifer Lopez - $4.0 million
This $4 million blue diamond engagement ring given to Jennifer Lopez by (now ex-husband) Marc Anthony has a dazzling 8.5-caret diamond as its centerpiece, mounted in delicate metal by "jeweler to the stars" Neil Lane. Even though Anthony and Lopez split after 10 years of marriage, the ring is still one of the most coveted and valuable pieces of jewelry in Lopez's extravagant collection.
4. Grace Kelly - $4.1 million
Iconic television and film star Grace Kelly was an American actress who, after marrying Prince Rainier III, became known as the Princess of Monaco. Her Cartier engagement ring is one of the world's most famous, with a legendary 10.47 emerald-cut diamond centered between two beautifully displayed diamond baguettes. Kelly and Prince Rainer had three children and remained married until Kelly's death in 1982.
3. Paris Hilton - $4.7 million
According to American socialite and heiress Paris Hilton, this engagement ring was so big that it hurt her finger to wear it. The ring, given to her by her ex-fiancé Paris Latsis, is a massive 24-caret white gold ring featuring a rectangular diamond as its centerpiece and two triangle baguette diamonds. Hilton auctioned the ring to help victims of Hurricane Katrina after her and Latsis split.
2. Beyoncé - $5.0 million
Designed by jeweler Lorraine Schwartz, this flawless 18-caret octagon-cut diamond engagement ring was given to Beyoncé by rapper Jay-Z. Valued at $5 million at set in platinum, the quality of the ring's diamond is so flawless that it has been certified as an exceptional, internally clear, premium stone. The entertainment power couple--who have a combined net worth of $1 billion--have been married since 2008 and has one child.
1. Elizabeth Taylor - $8.8 million
British-American actress Elizabeth Taylor was the owner of the most expensive engagement ring in the world. Valued at $8.8 million, this ring features a huge 33.19-caret Asscher-cut Krupp diamond with a relatively large culet facet. Certified as the most chemically pure type of diamond with exceptional optical transparency, the ring was given to Taylor by actor Richard Burton who she married twice, in 1964 and 1975.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker