In less than one week, King Charles III and his wife, Camilla, will be crowned King and Queen of the United Kingdom – but coronation fever is reaching lands far beyond the British Isles.
With the coronation comes the expected memorabilia – comprising everything from cookie tins to commemorative coins and china. There is no doubt – we are currently wavering through an abundance of memorabilia – and in some ways, taking access to these treasures for granted. However, soon, access to these souvenirs will be limited – as will the chance to make a healthy return in the future.
'When it comes to coronation memorabilia, the sky is the limit in terms of what could be considered valuable,' says Nicholas Wells, a London-based antique dealer and owner of Nicholas Wells Antiques Ltd.
'Commemorative coins [such as those below], medals, plates, and cups are popular items among collectors, as are photographs and other souvenirs related to the coronation ceremony. Some collectors even seek out items that belonged to or were signed by members of the royal family, such as personal letters, clothing, or jewelry. It is these unique items that will increase in value the most.'
Royal Mint coins are collector's items and souvenirs crafted to commemorate and celebrate special occasions. This set of five coins has been released by the Royal Mint with the official portrait of King Charles III on them. You can buy individual coins separately, but this set is a true keepsake.
Nicholas Wells founded his eponymous antique firm in 2012 – stemming from 15 years of antique dealing experience at Mallett & Sons in London and New York. He is considered one of the top antique dealers in the British capital – equipped to assist you in furnishing your home and nourishing your desire to own the best antiques in the country.
'Memorabilia from royal events like coronations and jubilees can be more than just trinkets or souvenirs. For collectors, they represent a piece of history, a connection to a momentous occasion, and, sometimes, a lucrative investment opportunity,' Nicholas says.
Antique dealer Nick Jones adds that we should consider pieces made in limited numbers – and recommends buying from a well-known factory, such as Wedgwood or Royal Doulton. Burleigh Pottery has also designed a Regal Peacock Collection (held by King Charles above) that is one of Burleigh’s most popular designs with the Royal households. The King owns several pieces decorated in this pattern, and it's easy to understand its appeal.
China and pottery aside, however, Nick reminds us not to overlook a traditional British kitchen staple: tea.
London-based antique shop owner Nick Jones has held a love for antiques for nearly thirty years, originally starting in a small London shop selling Art Deco. From there, he and his team honed their knowledge of the antique business to create a larger store that sells a mixture of antiques that range from the 18th to the 20th century.
'You can also consider pieces from Harrods or Fortnum & Mason – such as a box of coronation tea, which is already dried so it won’t rot. Remember, rarity counts, so keep it unopened in the box so it’s in pristine condition.'
Fortnum & Mason have a well-established relationship with the royal family, so it's no surprise they have a special coronation collection.
This collection includes Fortnum's iconic wicker hamper, filled with their limited edition coronation range. You'll find the all-important unique tea blend, delicious honey biscuits, a commemorative tea towel, English berry conserve, and organic chocolates. It's a true celebration collection.
We have limited time to invest in these historical pieces – however, before investing, Nicholas says there are a few things to keep in mind.
'First, do your research and learn as much as you can about the items you're interested in. This will help you identify the most valuable pieces and avoid buying fakes or reproductions,' he says.
'Second, consider visiting antique centers and markets, where you may be able to find unique and valuable items. Finally, be prepared to invest – collecting memorabilia can be an expensive hobby, but for many collectors, it's well worth it to own a piece of history.'
A simple commemoration of his majesty, this plate is a simple ceramic heirloom to mark the occasion of King Charles III’s coronation. It features Sir Jony Ive’s stylish and iconic emblem and would make a wonderful gift too.
Jemma Baskeyfield, the company historian at the aforementioned pottery brand, Burleigh agrees.
'Consumers have become much more interested in where and how products are made, and they're also more astute at spotting when a brand isn't authentic,' she says. 'As a result, authenticity and provenance are the new defining factors of luxury because these qualities can't be faked or bought.'
This is something to consider when investing in a piece that will stand the test of time – and likely generate a healthy profit if you think of selling in the future. Picking up a part of history, however, begins now.
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Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
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