Some interesting online sales projections hit the newswires today, with TheWall Street Journal releasing an article forecasting that U.S. online sales will increase by 22% to $172 billion this year. While those of you who have been paying attention know that this does exhibit the inevitable slowing growth as Internet shopping becomes mainstream, there are certainly several highlighted segments that investors should find interesting.

For the purposes of this quick Take, though, I'm going to focus on just one element. I found it of particular interest that the jewelry and luxury goods segment is one of the highlighted areas, forecast to grow by 28% to $3.2 billion. It's pretty well-known that it is one of the areas that has lagged behind, since many consumers have still had a hard time trusting their purchases of precious goods (such as engagement rings, for example) to mouse clicks and mail, although it appears that may indeed be changing.

The projections do imply that shoppers are becoming accustomed to the notion. That bodes well for companies such as Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick Blue Nile (NASDAQ:NILE), which specializes in quality diamond jewelry, in particular engagement jewelry, over the Internet.

Indeed, Blue Nile's last quarterly results implied good things on the horizon. At that time, company CEO Mark Vadon acknowledged the fact that the slow uptake of such shopping signals strength ahead, stating in the company's conference call, "We believe we are still in the growth curve of our category."

Meanwhile, of course, companies such as (NASDAQ:AMZN) and another Rule Breakers pick, (NASDAQ:OSTK), clearly saw opportunity in online sales of jewelry. Over the last year or so, both companies have provided their own special online jewelry selections -- including the "build-your-own-ring" type service that has been one of Blue Nile's innovative claims to fame.

Of course, while the projections are good, the companies that mean to capitalize off of consumers' increased willingness to buy pricey baubles over the Internet must execute in order to do well. However, for investors who have staked a claim foreseeing growth in such areas, the future appears sparkly indeed.

Blue Nile and are Motley Fool Rule Breakers picks. is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Our suite of newsletters address all kinds of investing styles .

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.