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This February marks the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne, and many of us are looking forward to the four public holidays from June 2-5 to mark the Platinum Jubilee.
the Royal collection sells official souvenirs, Platinum Jubilee emblem coffee cups for £15, pill boxes for £45 or tea cups and saucers for £65. Other trinkets on sale include plates, mugs, clocks and drink glasses.
Whether or not you’re a fan of the royal family, you might think the trinkets for this historic event are worth getting your hands on. But while Jubilee memorabilia can be a source of revenue for both official and unofficial retailers, it may not be a winning investment strategy.
Is it worth investing in royal memorabilia?
The answer, of course, depends on the piece of memorabilia.
Daniel Wade, director at Paul Fraser Collectibles, points out: “The Jubilee memorabilia will be produced in such large numbers (even the ‘limited edition’ pieces) that there will not be enough rarity to drive prices up in years to come. Moreover, so many people nowadays have the idea of buying souvenirs as an investment that many owners will keep them in pristine condition, meaning the market will be saturated for decades.
Jennifer Gait, evaluator at Prestige Pawnbrokers of Channel 4’s Posh Pawn, says: “Another point to consider would be the appeal of the item, as sometimes parts can be very specialized and only desirable for a few people.”
Both experts say that if you are looking to cash in on the royal family, you should focus on finding coins touched, owned or worn by the royal family. These are the items that have historically increased in value, due to their rarity and desirability. For example, the bike Princess Diana rode in the months before her wedding to Prince Charles sold for £211 in 2008 – and again in 2018 for £9,200.
If you do manage to get your hands on something genuinely related to the royal family, you should aim to maintain or increase its value by making sure its quality doesn’t degrade. This means keeping items out of direct sunlight and behind UV filtering glass if you are going to put them on display. If the item is a personal item, proof of provenance would be of interest to a collector, so keeping records safe and storing them safely is essential.
Wade suggests that anyone who wants to try and make money off of royal memorabilia should aim to get their hands on the wedding cake from a royal wedding – easier said than done! People paid £2,000 for a slice of Charles and Diana’s wedding cake, £1,250 for William and Kate’s wedding cake and £500 for the Queen and Prince Phillip’s wedding cake.
What are old royal souvenirs worth?
A quick look on eBay suggests memorabilia from the Queen’s last jubilee – her Diamond Jubilee in 2021 – isn’t selling for massive quantities.
You can buy a tea towel for £3.99, a mug for £1.99 and a program for the official concert for £1.25. Even a Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee medallion in 1897 only sells for £2.95.
However, the most expensive piece of royal memorabilia ever sold was the bracelet given to Wallis Simpson by Edward VIII after his abdication from the throne. The Cartier bracelet has the shape of a cheetah in diamonds and onyx. It was sold at Sotheby’s auction in 2010 for $4.5 million.
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