Kelly Clarkson may have thought she was the new owner of a coveted ring that once belonged to Jane Austen, but the UK had other plans for the ring. Clarkson purchased the ring for £150,000 but the UK didn’t want to see the ring in or on the hands on anyone but a British owner.
They quickly imposed a no export ban on the ring that prevented Clarkson from taking it out of the country. They then searched for a British buyer instead. Hundreds of Jane Austen’s fans sent in donations to help the Jane Austen's House Museum by the ring back from the singer so it could stay in southern England.
The ring sold at auction last year but before that it had been in the Austin family for over 200 years. When Kelly Clarkson purchased the ring, valued at $46,362, she paid for then 5 times its value and outbid 7 other people.
The British government can halt the export of works judged to be national treasures if it feels it needs to do so, but it doesn’t look like Kelly Clarkson is putting up much of a fight. In fact, she seemed happy to sell the ring back to the museum so fans of Jane Austen could enjoy it.
‘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,’ she said.
The museum also raised enough money to display the ring and have it insured. It will be displayed beside other pieces of jewelry that were owned by the famous author who died in 1817.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.