Chinese manufacturers cash in on royal wedding
By Royston Chan
YIWU, China (Reuters Life!) - Britain may be on the other side of the world, but Chinese manufacturers are cashing in on the British royal wedding as they churn out tens of thousands of replica royal engagement rings.
Last November, Prince William and his beaming fiancee Kate Middleton showed off the blue sapphire ring, surrounded with diamonds, which had belonged to William's mother, the late Princess Diana.
Dozens of factories located in the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu in Zhejiang province, home to the world's largest wholesale market for a wide range of small items from pencils to socks to cups, have been rushing to produce knockoffs of the ring to meet surging global demand.
Jewelry manufacturer Zhou Mingwang said he jumped at the opportunity of making the replica rings as soon as the royal engagement was announced.
"When they announced their engagement, it was just by chance that I saw their ring on the internet. I felt that this had a great commemorative value and thought there was a good market for the product," Zhou added.
Zhou said that his company decided to put the on their website on Alibaba.com, China's largest e-commerce site, and that inquiries began to come in.
Zhou's factory offers four different models of the ring with slightly different designs and color tones.
The cheapest is made of acrylic and metallic alloys while the best in his range is made from zircon and silver-coated copper. Continued...