Singer Kelly Clarkson is in some hot (British) water! The British government has intervened in a battle for Jane Austen's coveted ring. The 'American Idol' winner bought Austen's ring last year for just over 150,000 pounds ($228,000). However on Thursday, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey put an export bar on the item until Sept. 30 in the hope that a British buyer will come forward.

The Culture Minister suggested Austen's lifestyle and early death at 41-years-old means that "any
objects associated with her, of any kind are extremely rare, so I hope that a U.K. buyer comes forward so this simple, but elegant ring can be saved for the nation."

If you're wondering if the British government has the power to do this, they do. The UK government can put a temporary hold on the export of works judged to be a national treasure.

The ring at the center of the controversy was a ring owned by Austen left to her sister Cassandra. The heirloom stayed in the family until it sold last year to Clarkson.

Clarkson has agreed to sell the ring should a buyer come forward.

Photo courtesy of Flickr