Posted: 3:28 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, 2013
We told you last month about how the British government was trying to buy back a ring belonging to novelist Jane Austen after singer Kelly Clarkson had purchased it at an auction.
At the time, the British culture minister put a temporary export bar on the piece with the reasoning is that “Jane Austen’s modest lifestyle and her early death mean that objects associated with her of any kind are extremely rare” and hoped a UK buyer would come forward to match or beat the price Clarkson paid for it. They had until September 30 to reach that goal. Clarkson bought the gold and turquoise ring for over $253,000 in 2012.
But after word got out about the priceless bauble leaving British soil – it’s one of only three known pieces of jewelry belonging to the Pride and Prejudice novelist – donations began flooding in to the Jane Austen’s House Museum to secure the ring for display there. One anonymous donor even pledged $150,000 to the effort. They’ve raised enough money so that the ring will remain on Austen’s home soil and go on display at the museum bearing her name.
For her part, Clarkson has no hard feelings about losing the ring, telling a British paper “The ring is a beautiful national treasure and I am happy to know that so many Jane Austen fans will get to see it at Jane Austen’s House Museum.”
Besides, Kelly has an amazing ring of her own – her diamond engagement ring from fiancé Brandon Blackstock. The couple will tie the knot on October 20.