Napoleon's engagement ring for Josephine fetches $948,000

Napoleon's engagement ring for Josephine fetches $948,000
A diamond and sapphire engagement ring given by Napoleon Bonaparte to Josephine de Beauharnais. The ring recently fetched close to $1 million at auction. (Patrick Kovarik / AFP/Getty Images)

No trip to your local Zales or Kay Jewelers will cost as much as what someone paid over the weekend for a diamond and sapphire engagement ring that Napoleon gave to his beloved Josephine. The ring reportedly sold for 730,000 euros ($948,000) at an auction in France on Sunday.

The Osenat auction house in the town of Fontainebleau had expected the ring to fetch between 10,000 euros and 15,000 euros. The ring was part of a larger auction of items from the collection of Victor Napoleon and his wife, the Princess Clementine of Belgium.


The catalogue states that the engagement ring once belonged in the collection of Napoleon III, who was a nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, and his wife, Eugenie, and then to their descendants.

The ring is believed to have been given to Josephine around 1796 and the couple married shortly thereafter on March 9, according to the catalog.

Osenat has not released the name of the buyer. This year is the 250th anniversary of Josephine's birth. The French aristocrat was 32 and already a widow at the time she married Napoleon, who was six years younger than his bride.