Royal Ring Frenzy

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 11:23am

Online jewelry retailers reap benefits of Will & Kate's engagement.

Thirty years ago a royal engagement set off a flurry of interest in the blue sapphire ring Prince Charles gave Diana Spencer.

Now their son has given the blue sapphire ring to his future bride and jewelers hope to cash in again.

"Throughout the holiday season, we saw about a 25 percent increase in searches for sapphire engagement rings," says Google retail director Dan Schock.

In order to cash in Google alerted advertising partners selling jewelry online and they quickly began creating tie-ins.

Eve's Addiction created a knock off version for $56 and began using Google Tools to have images show up on celebrity and fashion websites.

Blue Nile began changing its key search words.

"We started looking for words that we wouldn't normally use, like 'royal wedding,' or 'Kate Middleton,' or 'Princess Diana sapphire,' so those became part of our day to day Google marketing," says Blue Nile's John Baird.

Baird says blue sapphire sales are up 40 percent from a year ago.

The stones are actually less expensive than diamonds.

Blue Nile is selling a three carat version for $7,500, as well as another ring directly inspired by Kate's ring.

"Actually a little bigger than her ring," says Baird. "Hers is reported at 18 carats. This one is actually 20 carats and it's $130,000."

It's one of a kind and it's still available.
 

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