Wills-Kat wedding ‘boosts Sri Lankan sapphire sales’

London: The wedding of Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton in April has apparently boosted the sales of blue sapphires in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan gemstone dealers say the stone in the bride’s ring, previously worn by Princess Diana, originated in their country.

In the first half of this year, the country’s gem exports rose 35 percent over the past year to be worth more than 48m dollars.

The Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association said it is beyond doubt that

The sapphire in Kate‘s engagement ring, came from Sri Lanka more than three decades ago.

Sinan Salahudeen, a dealer at the 21st annual Gem and Jewellery exhibition in Colombo, said the royal wedding has made stones very popular.

“There’s been quite a rush here, especially for sapphires,” BBC News quoted Salahudeen as saying.

“It’s something great that she’s wearing a Ceylon Sapphire. That brings a lot of value to the stone and it’s a prestige to our country as well,” he added.