After a year of struggling to get hold of the ring she bought last year for five times its estimated value, country-pop-rock superstar Kelly Clarkson is finally losing the gold and turquoise ring once owned by the late, great novelist Jane Austen. The "American Idol" season one champion is conceding defeat to the Jane Austen's House Museum which has successfully raised the £150,000 needed to buy back the ring and keep it in the U.K.
Clarkson bought the ring at an auction after it had remained with the Austen family for some 200 years. After the British culture ministry declared the said ring was of historical value and could not leave the country, the 31-year-old singer was prevented from taking the jewelry outside the U.K. by way of a temporary export ban imposed on the item.
The ban allowed the museum to raise enough funds to buy back the ring and keep it there at Austen's home in Chawton, Hampshire, where the English novelist wrote all six of her novels and spent the last eight years of her life. Donations came from Austen fans, TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh and one very generous, anonymous donor who pledged £100,000.
Despite losing the ring for her personal indulgence, Clarkson said she was delighted that the museum had been able to raise money to buy back the historical jewelry piece. "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 states.