Joséphine’s Engagement Ring from Napoleon fetched over $1,000,000.00

Shattering its unrealistically high estimate of $20,000, Napoleon Bonaparte’s engagement ring to his future wife Joséphine in 1796, of the ‘Collection of Prince Victor Napoleon and Princess Clementine of Belgium,’ sold all told, for more than $1 million. Held on Sunday, reportedly the 250th anniversary of Joséphine’s birth, the Osenat auction house in Fontainebleau chose to honor her birthdate. Even though the value of the ring was described as “modest” by the auction house, purchased by someone who had not yet acquired great wealth and power, its historical significance attracted diverse international interest.


Even though the bidding opened at $13,000, the first bid of $65,000 suggested a far higher final price than originally anticipated. The 1.00ct pear-shaped sapphire and 1.00ct pear-shaped diamond engagement ring, listed as 18th Century, fast reached $169,000, then pacing to $585,000, attracting an audience overcome by nervous humor. Apparently about to close at $819,000, an eager buyer pushed the price of the world’s most famous period engagement ring up to $832,000, attracting more bated hilarity. After approximately 50 nerve-wracking bids, this historic engagement ring sold for $949,000 plus commission and fees.
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