Kate Middleton wore a fabulous pair of topaz Hope earrings for her engagement photo back in 2010, with that elegant sapphire dress; and the gorgeous sapphire engagement ring. Since all things Kate touches sell out, everyone behind the perfect photograph got very rich, right? Wrong, for a jeweler called Links of LondonÂ—the firm that designed and sold the earrings. The owners are miserable, because everyone apparently cleaned up except them, reports the Daily Beast. Links of London estimates they lost some $10 million dollars in missing sales. The counterfeiters won out!
Caroline Rolfe, Links of London's head of online sales believes their Kate Middleton association caused them to lose out. "The counterfeiters were a lot cleverer than we were at the time of the wedding. We didn't have that much stock so we started to sell out quite quickly ... The counterfeiters took advantage of that by saying they had stock and people were duped into buying them." By the time Links got its own stock in gear, the rush was on to something else.
Well, normally women do not want jewelry someone else is wearing. It's a kiss of death. Would you buy expensive earrings that look just like some Kim Kardashian used for a photo op? No! But somehow, the opposite is true for Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge.
Knockoffs are part of the game. Why pay the full priceÂ—275 in pounds, or around $400 dollarsÂ—for a real topaz and tiny diamonds when you can get Kate-looking colored glass for a few bucks? The point is, a customer should know what she is getting. Links of London believes many people paid the full price, for something fake. That's just wrong!
The jewelers are not amused. They have spent the past year making things betterÂ—from their point of view. Their brand protection company has now closed more than a thousand fake jewelry websites. Note to fansÂ—copy Kate Middleton all you like, but be careful what you buy.
Â© Cindy Kroiss Â– Gather Inc. 2012
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