As the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee approaches, royal fans will be dusting off their commemorative crockery in time to celebrate HM’s 70 years on the throne.
Many are also rushing to online antiques and auction sites such as eBay to get their hands on a piece of history.
Searches for ‘Queen salt and pepper shakers’ have tripled, while searches for royal teacups, Queen teapots and Jubilee plates have risen by 50 per cent, 42 per cent and 383 per cent respectively, according to eBay.
Mini monarch: The sold-out Elizabeth II Jubilee Barbie. Royal fans are getting ready to celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years on the throne
Commemorative newspapers, coins and tins are among the top most searched collectables, while demand for slices of royal wedding cake is up a third in recent weeks.
One slice from Princess Diana and Prince Charles’s big day in 1981 is currently listed for £950, while a piece of cake from William and Kate’s wedding in 2011 sold for almost £288 in April.
A collection of royal coins, including a 1977 Silver Jubilee Crown and the Charles and Diana Wedding Coin, is currently listed for £2,499.99 on eBay.
A signed and framed Christmas card of the Royal Family including the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles from 1976 sold on eBay for £149 in April.
A job lot of 25 items of commemorative items including tins, mugs and Princess Diana and Charles playing cards, went for £90 in March.
But could these Jubilee gems hold their value and make a mint in the future? And how much might your royal memorabilia be worth?
Experts say that it’s difficult to predict. Daniel Wade, from Paul Fraser Collectibles, says personal items such as clothes, belongings or signed letters, tend to be the most in demand — and fetch the highest price.
The Queen’s underwear was auctioned for thousands of pounds after being left on a private plane to Chile in 1968.
Pristine pair: William and Kate ceramic figurines. A piece of cake from William and Kate’s wedding in 2011 sold for almost £288 in April
And the velvet evening gown Princess Diana wore in 1985 when she danced with John Travolta at the White House was sold at auction for £220,000 in 2019.
Mr Wade says Royal autographs are doing very well at the moment ahead of the Jubilee.
He says there was a surge after Prince Philip’s death where people perhaps realised the Royal Family would not be around for ever.
Luxury: Commemorative bone china mug. Searches for royal teacups, Queen teapots and Jubilee plates have risen by 50%
He says: ‘The Royal Family aren’t allowed to give out autographs as it’s not protocol, which means they are in limited supply.
‘We find signed items, such as Christmas cards and letters, do very well.
‘Slices of royal wedding cake are also popular. Despite being produced in large volumes, they bring people close to the event and close to the couple.’
Mr Wade says some of the Royal Family are more popular than others — which will affect the value of their items.
Because of her legacy and mystique, Princess Diana memorabilia remains the most desired.
Frances Monroe, head of collectables at eBay, says Royal occasions and news spark a greater interest in the royals among the public, which translates to surging demand.
She says: ‘Events like the Platinum Jubilee offer a timely opportunity for those looking to sell their royal memorabilia to those looking to build out their collection.
‘The nation loves a love story. Royal wedding collectables will fetch the highest price around major anniversaries for the couple, and the older the item, the rarer and more valuable it has usually become.’
Rob Burgeman, investment manager at Brewin Dolphin, says there may also be a surge in demand for Diana memorabilia at Princes Charles’s and William’s coronations, and events involving the grandchildren.
Decorative: Queen and Prince Philip candle snuffers. Searches for ‘Queen salt and pepper shakers’ have tripled, according to eBay
A signed photo of Princess Diana was worth £1,250 in 2000 and £10,000 now, according to Paul Fraser Collectibles.
Over the same period, the price of a signed photo of Queen Elizabeth II went from £1,000 to £5,000, which Mr Wade says is the most valuable signature of a living person.
He adds: ‘Prince William comes next in popularity as he has signed fewer documents, while Prince Charles is a long way down the list. He does not fire up the imagination like the other three.’
Ornamental souvenir: 2015 Travel alarm clock
Mr Burgeman says that buying royal collectables as an investment is risky as you have no idea how tastes will change and what items — or the Firm’s family members — will fall out of favour.
For example, in the past two years the value of a signed photograph of Prince Harry has dropped £250 to £1,500.
He says: ‘Trying to pick commemorative memorabilia that will make you money is tough — and there are definitely better investments.
‘The Royal Family has international appeal but related items will only be worth as much as someone will pay.
‘Buy items if you like them and if it becomes valuable in the future, that’s a bonus.’
Mr Wade says you are unlikely to make any money on pieces produced as collectables — even if you keep them in pristine condition for years to come. He says: ‘Even limited-edition pieces will be produced in large runs. I cannot see them making money in the future.’
He also warns fans to always buy from reputable firms that offer authentication.
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