5 Famous Engagement Rings to Inspire Your Research

By Erin Ollila

When it comes to style, you look to see what the world's best and brightest are wearing, and the same goes for jewelry. When you're designing the ring of your dreams, it's best to get inspiration from famous engagement rings.

Which stone shapes have stood the test of time? Are there any accents that adorn your favorite celebrities' rings? Looking at the ring designs of the past and present will help you determine what look you love. Styles ebb and flow over time, and you want your ring to be a timeless reminder of your love.

While you may not end up with a 29-carat stone on your finger, you'll have the ring you love for the rest of your life because you took the time to do the research. Here are five famous engagement rings with which to start your search:

1. Elizabeth Taylor

With eight marriages to her name, it's safe to expect at least one of Elizabeth Taylor's rings to be a complete showstopper. The ring from producer Mike Todd wins the award for being one of the most famous engagement rings of all time. Lovingly referred to as her "ice-skating rink," Taylor's 29.4-carat emerald-cut diamond from her third husband comes in as the biggest stone on this list. However, Taylor loved jewelry, so don't forget to research her other engagement rings (and her engagement bracelet and pendant) for inspiration.

2. Kim Kardashian

Kanye West's outspoken nature may be a lot to digest, but his taste in rings is spot on. When he proposed to Kim Kardashian in 2013, he chose a 15-carat cushion-cut diamond ring and dropped to one knee in the middle of a baseball field. Don't worry, he didn't forget the 90-piece orchestra, pyrotechnics, and jumbotron in his proposal.

3. Princess Diana and Duchess Kate Middleton

When Prince Charles proposed to Princess Diana in 1981, he did it with an 18-carat oval-shaped sapphire surrounded by custom diamonds. To honor his late mother, Prince William used her ring when he proposed to Kate Middleton in 2010.

4. Angelina Jolie

The ring that Brad Pitt used to propose to Angelina Jolie will forever be remembered. While Hollywood fans were waiting ever-so-patiently for them to get married, Pitt was secretly meeting with his jeweler for over a year to design the custom emerald-cut stunner.

5. Jacqueline Kennedy

Similar to Princess Diana's ring, Jacqueline Kennedy's ring includes a gemstone and diamonds. When John Kennedy proposed to her at a Boston restaurant in 1953, he did so with a ring that included two emerald-cut, over 2-carat center stones—an emerald and a diamond. The two center stones were surrounded by baguettes and diamond accent stones.

These stunning stones will likely stay on your mind as you think about what it is you'd like for your own ring. Remember to note what it is you like about them and share those notes with your boyfriend. After all, you want him to be as prepared as possible.