JANE AUSTEN's ring was bought by Kelly Clarkson last year but it's still in the country! The turquoise and gold ring, once owned by Jane Austen, was bought by Clarkson last year at auction. She reported paid £152 450 for the item but has been fighting the British government to take it out of the country.

Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson outside the ITV Studios, London in 2011.

Culture minster Ed Vaizey is ensuring the ring remains on British soil by placing a temporary export bar on it. He has appealed for British buyers to come forward to offer to purchase the ring from the singer. They have until 30th September to match the price paid by Clarkson. If a buyer does not come forward before this time, the export bar will be lifted. 

Vaizey said the ring was a "national treasure" and should be "saved for the nation". It is one of three pieces of jewellery known to have belonged to Austen. This ring is particularly important as it comes with documentation relating to Austen's family and the ring's descent through it. 

Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson on stage at the 2012 Much Music Video Awards in Toronto. 

Vaizey continued to say: "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 UK buyer comes forward so this simple but elegant ring can be saved for the nation."

Jane Austen (1775-1817) is one of the UK's most famous writers. Her six novels: Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey have been adapted on countless occasions into film and television productions. Austen's own life was the subject of Becoming Jane which starred Anne Hathaway as the author and James McAvoy as her ill-fated love interest Tom Lefroy. 

Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway, photographed at the Museum of Art, New York, played Austen in the 2007 film Becoming Jane.