MISS MONEYSAVER: Which Coronation china will really make you a mint?
We Brits have always been enthusiastic collectors of royal memorabilia. But when it comes to making money from them in the future, it pays to be careful what you go for.
Right now, there are some really attractive bits and pieces you could pick up on the High Street. Marks and Spencer has a suitably regal coronation cushion with embroidered crowns on it for £22.50, John Lewis has a lovely coronation teddy for £15 and Fortnum & Mason has a beautiful Darjeeling coronation tea caddy for £19.95.
They all look great and are fun to have in the home, but they’re mass-produced so unlikely to increase in value much, if at all.
So, if you’re a keen coronation collector, but you want to pick up items that you could sell for more later on, what should you be aiming for?
Jon White, from the Britannia Coin Company, says: ‘Some of the most sought-after memorabilia produced for Queen Elizabeth’s 1953 coronation were ceramics, designed by British artist Eric Ravilious for Wedgwood. Ravilious’ brightly coloured coronation mugs sell for more than £600 these days, so I’d expect that designs from renowned artists will increase in value.’
If you’re a fan of attractive china then you could go to emmabridgewater.co.uk and buy a crown-adorned half-pint jug for £23 which is highlighted as a ‘collector exclusive’. Collectibles expert Tracy Martin has said Emma Bridgewater products could increase in value due to their distinctive designs.
if you’re a keen coronation collector, but you want to pick up items that you could sell for more later on, what should you be aiming for?
You could also consider a limited edition print to commemorate the occasion. For example, visit Highgrove’s own shop, highgrovegardens.com, and for £3,500 you can buy a limited edition (100 copies) framed, Balmoral lithograph from an original watercolour by the soon-to-be-invested King. Any item that is guaranteed ‘limited edition’ has a much better chance of increasing its value.
If you’d like something a little more offbeat, the Windermere Fine Art Gallery in the Lake District has a limited edition portrait of Charles as Elvis! It’s £250 unframed or £450 framed.
Dawn Titherington, owner of the gallery, says: ‘Royal-themed art is always popular. For example, The Queen of Hearts piece featuring the Queen created by Mr Brainwash, a Los Angeles-based street artist, for her Platinum Jubilee in 2022, has since doubled in value.’
Another limited edition product that’s a little cheaper is the Highgrove Coronation Bear, again from Highgrove itself. At £170 each, only 500 have been created. The bear is handmade by Merrythought, the last remaining British teddy bear manufacturer.
Pawnbroker Dan Hatfield recommends the Royal Scot crystal coronation paperweight at £39.50, pointing out that as we become paperless, manufacturers are producing fewer paperweights. ‘In years to come, they could be worth hundreds of pounds,’ he told ITV.
For a pretty much guaranteed profit, auctioneer and royal memorabilia specialist James Grinter suggests focusing on pieces that have been touched, owned, worn or, indeed, signed by royalty.
I don’t have a seat at Westminster Abbey on May 6 (a shocking omission, I know), but if King Charles follows in the footsteps of his mother, I might be able to buy someone else’s invitation — or even the chair they sit on during the ceremony — as a keepsake.
It’s worth keeping an eye out for mementoes on eBay just after the Coronation that you could keep and resell for a profit later on, such as a signed programme or ticket. Or anything signed by the King on the day.
James Grinter adds: ‘We sold a framed, signed photograph of the late Queen as she was leaving Buckingham Palace to go to her coronation, for £2,500. She had given the photo to a member of her staff and its value came from the fact that it was signed just before the Coronation.’
Finally, if you would like something really affordable to invest in, on the day of the Coronation go out and buy the Daily Mail and all the other major news-papers. Within a week you could sell them for much more on eBay. After the death of the Queen, papers reporting her death were selling for up to £200 online.
Cook your way to a free place to stay
Making yourself useful: The idea is that you create a profile on the site, itemise the skills you would be willing to offer… and then you’re matched with people in the area you want to stay in who need your skills
It’s increasingly expensive to rent somewhere to live — or just to stay for a short time.
But a new site called Kind Room (kindroom.com) is offering an alternative way to pay for a room: with your skills.
The idea is that you create a profile on the site, itemise the skills you would be willing to offer (cooking, cleaning, mending things, gardening, secretarial duties etc) and then you’re matched with people in the area you want to stay in who need your skills.
That way you get somewhere to live for free (or nearly free) and the home-owner gets someone handy to have around the house who could do housework or gardening in return for a room.
If you have a Nectar card and you shop in Sainsbury’s, you will be able to get extra discounts — up to 30 per cent — off a range of products from cereals to washing detergent just by swiping your Nectar app or card at the till.
If you shop online your discounts will happen automatically if your Nectar and Sainsbury’s accounts are linked.
Mahahome.com, the home of big kitchen brands, is offering anexclusive 25 per cent off all Pyrex products on its website when you use code JASMINE25 at the checkout. The code expires on May 6.
I have a patio with pots of plants but I’d love a bit of garden to grow fruit and veg, so I’m really interested in a new site called AllotMe.co.uk, which puts people like me together with neighbours who have an unused garden or even an allotment that they want to rent out to would-be gardeners. It’s free to use so worth a go.
Tricks to save on your surging water bills
Water bills went up this month, with the average total rising from £417 to £448 this year, according to Water UK.
But you can cut this cost by using a few clever hacks. Start with a freebie — I always like to! Many water companies offer a free water-saving kit to any of their customers who ask. Take a look at your water provider’s website to see if they offer one of these.
Clean up: Cut water bills by showering
If you live on your own, or there are more bedrooms than people in your home, it could be worth getting a water meter. For large, growing families who love baths, it may be better not to!
The Consumer Council for Water (ccw.org.uk/save-money-and-water/water-meter-calculator) has a water meter calculator that you can use to work out if it would be worth signing up.
Having showers rather than baths will cut down on the amount of water you use, and the shorter the showers the cheaper it will be.
I have a friend who puts the plug in the bath when she showers and then uses the water to flush the loo or water the garden.
Other things you can do around the house are to fix leaking taps, to make sure you have a full load whenever you use your washing machine, and use the dishwasher only when it’s fully loaded.
My favourite hack is to fill the kettle only with enough water for the mugs of tea you’re making.
If you’re struggling to pay your water bill, do contact your water company as they all have ways to help, from letting you pay in instalments to putting a cap on the amount you are charged.
If you’re on a low household income (£21,000 or less) you might be able to go on a social tariff that can be up to 90 per cent less than the company’s normal rate.