Even though she dropped £150,000 (almost $200,000) on it at an auction last year, Kelly Clarkson has been barred from taking Jane Austen's gold and turquoise ring out of Britain. Ed Vaizey, the country's culture minister, says Austen had few personal belongings, and their presence in the country is important. The ring is one of three pieces of jewelry known to have belonged to the author and Vaizey has thus placed a temporary export ban on the ring, and even expresses hope that a British citizen will buy it out from under Clarkson.
"Jane Austen's modest lifestyle and her early death mean that objects associated with her of any kind are extremely rare," Vaizey says. "So I hope that a UK buyer comes forward so this simple but elegant ring can be saved for the nation."
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