The Howard Hughes’ engagement ring gifted to Katharine Hepburn recently sold for $108,000 at a Los Angeles auction. Originally, the ring was priced at $78,000.

This ring is absolutely stunning. It perfectly depicts Hollywood glamour of the post depression era, circa mid 1930’s.

Hughes gave Hepburn the ring in 1938, but the unconventional ring style is actually on trend right now.

Let’s take a closer look at the gorgeous, vintage sparkler.

Details on the Howard Hughes’ Engagement Ring for Hepburn

The auction was conducted by Profiles in History, the famed auctioneer of original Hollywood memorabilia. By the way, Hepburn and Hughes were a hot celebrity Hollywood couple back then, although they never married.

According to the auction catalog, the engagement ring features a 2.67-carat rectangular step-cut emerald gemstone flanked by four diamonds.

These four diamonds weren’t of the traditional round, brilliant sort. Instead, the side diamonds are:

  • 2 colorless emerald cut diamonds weighing 1.20 carats
  • 2 colorless epaulet cut diamonds weight 020 carats

Epaulet-cut, or epaulette-cut, gems have five sides and are traditionally used as side stones. They are similar in shape to Chevrons, but are generally shorter and less angled (sort of like a shield).

The platinum ring has a stamped symbol– “B & Co.” B & Co. stands for Brock & Co., which was a Los Angeles jeweler catering to the Hollywood elite, according to Profiles in History.

Related: Platinum vs White Gold

Katharine Hepburn’s Vintage Engagement Ring is on Trend

different angle of Howard Hughes' engagement ring for Hepburn

Emerald gemstones are having a moment in the engagement ring scene. They’ve been gaining popularity over the past few years, and show no signs of slowing. And we can see exactly why.

Emeralds are affordable and unique. In addition, brides prefer a ring that showcases their individualism. The traditional, brilliant cut diamond is taking a backseat, although it’s still THE most popular choice of all time.

However, a birthstone engagement ring may be the perfect choice. We we’ve seen tons of celebrities receive emerald engagement rings recently.

A Brief History of the Couple

If the couple never married, why the big fuss over Howard Hughes’ engagement ring for Hepburn? Well, they were kind of a big Hollywood deal back in the day.

Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn is a four time Academy Award winner with an acting career that spans over 50 years. Her early acting years included the film Morning Glory in 1933. She later won three Oscars for films  Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), and On Golden Pond (1981).

And nope, Katharine and Audrey Hepburn are of no relation!

Howard Hughes

Hughes, on the other hand, was not an actor. He was a film producer.  And an investor, record-setting pilot, engineer, and philanthropist. So it’s no surprise his net worth was $1.5 billion by the time he passed.

His rise to fame began while working on early films like The Racket (1928), Hell’s Angels (1930), and Scarface (1932).

Later, Hughes formed the Hughes Aircraft Company, and employed numerous engineers and designers. He spent the remainder of the 1930s and most of the 1940s setting multiple world air speed records and building the Hughes H-1 Racer and H-4 Hercules (aka the Spruce Goose).

Hughes and Hepburn were introduced to each other by Cary Grant during the production of Sylvia Scarlett in 1935. Their relationship lasted 18 months, and was later chronicled in the 2004 film, The Aviator. Leonardo DiCaprio and Cate Blanchett were leads in the movie.

Resources say Hughes confided to associates that the biggest mistake he ever made in his life was not convincing Katharine Hepburn to marry him.

He died at age 70 in 1976, and Hepburn and passed away at age 96 in 2003.

Howard Hughes’ Engagement Ring among Auctioned Memorabilia Worth $1.4 Million Dollars

Many other iconic memorabilia items were auctioned as well. A fedora sold for over $51,000. His legendary, two toned jacket was auctioned for $89,600, which was worn while piloting the Spruce Goose.

In addition, 55 handwritten love letters between the couple sold for $44,800. Hepburn used her pet names in each card and letter– “Country Mouse”, “C. Mouse,” “Mrs. H.R. Countrymouse,” “Mrs. Boss” and “H. Muskrat.”

Are you interested in creating a custom engagement ring with a loose diamond from our inventory? We also have a large selection of unique antique and vintage rings to choose from. Contact to schedule an appointment! He’ll help you find the perfect engagement ring today.

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