The British government is trying to stop Kelly Clarkson from taking a ring that belonged to novelist Jane Austen out of the country.
The chart-topping singer and “American Idol” winner bought the turquoise and gold ring at an auction last year for more than $230,000, according to the BBC.
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey made the decision to defer granting an export license for the ring “on the grounds that it is so closely connected with our history and national life that its departure would be a misfortune,” according to a statement from the U.K.’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport on Thursday.
“Jane Austen’s modest lifestyle and her early death mean that objects associated with her of any kind are extremely rare, so I hope that a U.K. buyer comes forward so this simple but elegant ring can be saved for the nation,” Vaizey said in a statement.
The ring is one of only three pieces of jewelry known to have belonged to the iconic English author of such classics as “Pride and Prejudice,” “Emma” and “Persuasion.”
The ring was first passed on to Austen’s sister, Cassandra, who then gave it to her sister-in-law Eleanor Austen when she became engaged to Henry Thomas Austen. The ring has remained in the Austen family ever since, according to the U.K. Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
“Jane Austen placed great significance on jewelry’s link to personal relationships both in her life and in her novels,” the Department of Culture said in a statement. “Often reflecting the characters of wearers in her novels, jewels were frequently much more than symbols of vanity and excess.”
Vaizey is offering U.K. buyers a chance to keep the ring in the U.K. Potential buyers have until Sept. 30 to match the $232,836 price tag. The deadline could be extended to Dec. 30 if”a serious intention to raise funds” is made. If someone does not come forward to match the price, the export license will be granted.
Kelly Clarkson’s fiance, Brandon Blackstock, a talent manager and Reba McEntire’s stepson, reportedly had a replica made for her. Clarkson did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.
(Source: ABC News)
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