#Royal #Hobby #Collecting #King #Charles #Memorabilia #WorthPoint
The coronation of King Charles III is set for May 6, 2023. A craze for Charles memorabilia has started, and the number of companies and organizations producing coronation collectibles is astonishing. Much of this royal material will be mass-produced and is unlikely to increase significantly in value over the short term. However, rare coins, expensive luxury alcohol, and primary pieces associated with the King will likely accrue substantial future returns. Key markets include Britain, the Commonwealth (especially Australia and Canada), and the United States.
Mugs, Crockery, and Tea Towels
Historical coronations and jubilees have seen a wealth of tea-related material appear on the British and international markets. Most of these collectibles will be mass-produced and not hold value. However, those interested in royal collectibles may still want to obtain a piece of Charles III’s coronation memorabilia for sentimental reasons or to add to an existing Queen Elizabeth collection.
Mugs, crockery, and tea towels are the traditional purchases. They may bare the face of the monarch or his royal coat of arms. They may include the letters “CR,” short for “Charles Rex.” Charles’s wife Camilla, Queen Consort of the United Kingdom, may also be depicted on various items.
Fine scotch whiskey is the beverage of choice for King Charles collectors. Thirty-eight-year-old Royal Salute Destiny is currently available from the prestigious British shop Fortnum & Mason for the equivalent of $1,500 USD. “Destiny” refers to the historic coronation stone present at the royal ceremony for hundreds of years.
Other options include a Glen Grant 1948 single malt scotch whiskey. Aged seventy-four years and bottled especially for the coronation by Gordon & MacPhail, this promises to be another highly collectible investment. Charles is reportedly fond of martinis, which he regularly drinks before dinner. His brand of choice is still a matter of debate.
Most coins circulated in Britain still bear the face of Queen Elizabeth, and it will take many years for these coins to be phased out. However, new coins depicting Charles’s face are coming into circulation. The Royal Mint has announced that the first two to bear his likeness will be a commemorative five-pound coin (known as a Crown) and a fifty-pence piece. Both will feature tributes to his late mother, Queen Elizabeth, on the reverse sides. For those interested in any coin depicting Charles, the 1998 fiftieth birthday five-pound coin and the 1981 Charles and Diana wedding coin are both readily available.
Fifty-pence pieces are particularly collectible, as many circulated in the United Kingdom feature unique commemorative designs. Any new denominations issued depicting Charles will become desirable on the coin market. As with all coins, rarity determines value, and if you can obtain rare versions with unusual mint marks, that value will likely increase.
Primary pieces, or primary artifacts, are those personally associated with the monarch. These might come as unpublished photographs or even letters and handwritten notes bearing Charles’s signature.
Fortunately, the British royals actively participate in many charities and veterans organizations. They are also often made the Colonel-in-Chief of British Army regiments. While these roles are usually ceremonial, they involve signing and issuing documents and personal messages. Since 1977, Charles has been the honorary Colonel of The Parachute Regiment, and in 1992, he became head of the Royal Dragoon Guards. Since becoming the reigning monarch in 2022, he has been presented with a grand selection of honorary titles, including Captain General of the Royal Marines and head of the Grenadier Guards.
When British citizens reach the age of one hundred, they receive a message of congratulations from the monarch. Until September 2022, Queen Elizabeth signed these messages. Now, Charles will sign them all. This change is an additional avenue for obtaining valuable primary pieces.
As Charles is now the United Kingdom’s head of state, he will issue several political documents during his reign. He will also take a more active part in the daily running of the government, especially regarding the House of Lords. Collectors can expect increasing amounts of personal notes and messages of congratulations signed or handwritten by Charles issued from the royal office, which will also send Christmas cards to more people than when Charles was a prince.
Primary pieces tend to hold the most long-term value. Documents personally written by Charles and bearing the royal signature will fetch the highest amounts, more so if they include accompanying certificates of authentication.
Anyone serious about royal collecting with enough money to spare will want to invest in primary pieces. These include any handwritten notes or cards from Charles or any unpublished photographs. However, those interested in royal collecting for sentimental reasons may be satisfied with a mug, tea towel, or piece of bunting.
The amount and variety of Charles memorabilia will likely increase massively in the coming years. Before long, King Charles will be celebrating his eightieth birthday, which will no doubt result in another surge in related collectibles.
Those interested in autographed royal memorabilia may want to check out this Dictionary article about royal signatures.
Matthew Doherty is a writer, editor, and teacher specializing in all things history-related. His work has been published in the UK Defence Journal, the Small Wars Journal, and The Collector. He holds an MSc from the University of Edinburgh and a BA from the University of Leeds. In his spare time, he also writes science fiction stories.
WorthPoint—Discover. Value. Preserve.