Kelly Clarkson's Ring Sting: Singer Blocked From Bringing Jane Austen Jewelry Out of U.K.

British government officials attempting to prevent American Idol champ from taking home a rare Jane Austen ring she won at auction

By Alexis L. Loinaz Aug 01, 2013 6:48 PMTags
Kelly Clarkson, Jane Austen ringDavid Thompson/REX/

Kelly Clarkson has run up against a staunch sense of British sensibility.

In a curious case of "Who knew she was a mega fan?", British government officials are seeking to prevent Clarkson from taking home a rare Jane Austen ring she won at auction in the hopes that a local buyer will snap it up instead and keep the historical objet d'art on British soil.

The 31-year-old American Idol champ snagged the bauble for a cool $228,000.

Martin Philbey/Redferns/Getty Images

But now, per the BBC, Britain's culture minister, Ed Vaizey is putting the kibosh on any attempt to take the ring out of the U.K.: He's placed a temporary hold on the item that prevents it from being exported from Britain, at least until Sept. 30.

Until then, Vaizey is hoping that a local buyer will be able to match Clarkson's winning bid, thus allowing the piece of jewelry to remain in the U.K. That deadline, however, can be extended to Dec. 30 if someone comes forward with a "serious intention" to purchase the ring.

Should the ring remain on the market, however, then an export license for it will be approved and Clarkson will be able to whisk the item out of the Britain.

"Jane Austen's modest lifestyle and her early death mean that objects associated with her of any kind are extremely rare," Vaizey told the BBC. "So I hope that a U.K. buyer comes forward so this simple but elegant ring can be saved for the nation."

Reportedly, the turquoise-and-gold ring is one of only three existing pieces of jewelry that once belonged to Sense and Sensibility scribe.

Since the 19th century, it had remained within Austen's family, handed down to her sister and her brother until Clarkson placed the winning bid at auction.

And while she may not have Austen's ring at the moment, at least Clarkson can console herself with another kind of bling—and one with massive emotional heft: In December, the "Miss Independent" singer announced that she and beau Brandon Blackstock were engaged, and she tweeted an image of her eye-popping engagement ring.

Jane Austen bling or not, Clarkson's definitely still got loads o' sparkle.