China to cash in on British royal wedding

Updated: Dec 13, 2010, 20:13 PM IST

London: A Chinese businessman is gearing up for a business boom by selling souvenirs ahead of the British royal wedding including plastic diamond versions of bride Kate Middleton`s engagement ring.

As soon as jewellery dealer Fu Xuxian from Yiwu town in Zhejiang province heard of Prince William`s engagement to Kate, he smelled a business opportunity that transcended borders.

Within days, he began making and exporting replicas of the engagement ring - an 18-carat Ceylon sapphire surrounded by white diamonds that once belonged to late Princess Diana.

`Their wedding will be as big Charles and Diana`s. As a businessperson you have to look for opportunities and then run faster than the competition,` Fu was quoted as saying by Sky News.

The original ring was made by Garrard - crown jewellers since 1843 - and is valued at several hundred thousand pounds.

Fu`s mass-produced version, which retails for just two pounds, is cast in bronze and set with plastic stones.

Fu expects to sell 50,000 of them before the wedding in April.

His factory is also working on a set of royal wedding souvenirs, including mugs, fluffy `William and Kate` toys, and a set of feathered hair ornaments inspired by Middleton`s style.

`I`ve noticed in pictures that she often wears things like this. So I thought there might be a market for them,` he said.

IANS