A Jane Austen ring – a rare turquoise and gold ring once owned by the famous 19th century novelist – will be staying in the United Kingdom after a British museum received a donation of about $160,000 to stop it being moved to the United States.
The Jane Austen's House Museum was outbid at an auction last year by U.S. pop singer Kelly Clarkson. However, the new donation means the museum can make a "serious expression" of intention to buy the piece, according to Reuters.
Clarkson won the auction after saying that she was a huge Austen fan. However, the British government placed a temporary ban on the ring being exported from the country following her auction win.
The recent donation will mean the museum can make another offer on the ring, which is just one of three pieces of jewelry known to have been owned by Austen.
Louise West, a fundraiser at the Jane Austen Museum told Reuters, "We always did want to acquire the ring for the museum but last year we felt like we couldn't raise enough money in time to go to the auction."
Clarkson won the ring at an auction last year for 150,000 British pounds (about $230,000).
The museum has since raised 103,200 British pounds towards the 152,450 British pounds needed to keep the ring in the U.K. It has until December to raise the remaining 49,000 pounds.
"If we are successful, it will go to the museum and will be put on display. You will be able to come and see it alongside the other jewelry owned by Jane Austen. So in a way it will be coming home," West told Reuters.
The museum has given a formal invitation to Clarkson to visit the house where Austen wrote and revised all of her six completed novels. West said, "We do want her to know that, if she does relinquish ownership of the ring, that she'll be welcome."
Clarkson has not commented on the developments.