Investing in royal autographs
Is investing in autographs from the current royal family a good idea?
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Wednesday 20 June 2012
Are autographs from the current British royal family a good investment? James by email
I'm intrigued that you ask specifically about the current royal family. Because if we were talking about previous incarnations we could discuss the incredibly rare Richard III signed document which sold last week, or the value of Henry VIII signatures.
But concentrating on the matter in hand, yes, if you choose the right royal you can hope to see a strong return in coming years. And by the right royal I mean Princess Diana and the Queen.
According to the PFC40 Autograph Index, signed photos of Diana rose in value by 19.60% pa between 2000 and 2011, from £1,250 ($1,960) to £8,950 ($14,040). She pulls at the heart strings like no other royal, due to the remarkable and ultimately tragic story of her life. Some may say that the public's affection for her may wain over the coming years. This may be true to a certain extent, but remember that she will be inextricably linked with the royal family for decades to come - she will be the former wife of the next king, and the mother of the one after that! Princess Diana will never be far from people's thoughts in terms of the royal family.
It's not just Diana's autograph that is soaring in value. A slice of cake from her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles sold for £1,756 ($2,750) at PFC Auctions in May, a 16.20% pa increase on the previous £1,000 record, set in August 2008.
And then there's the Queen herself. The Queen's signature is highly sought after yet particularly hard to obtain; members of the royal family rarely sign autographs so values are high when examples of their signature do appear. Two handwritten signed letters to her second cousin Lady Mary Cambridge, written following the births of Prince Charles in 1948 and Prince Andrew in 1960, sold for a combined £4,700 ($7,600) at a UK auction in April of last year. She is regarded with great affection, and is set to become Britain's longest serving monarch in 2015 - two factors that can only boost her appeal to collectors in the decades to come.
The rest of the current royal family? Forget them for now - the market is insufficiently mature to determine whether Wills and Kate have investment potential, and the public's attitude to Prince Charles is, let us say, one of amusement rather adoration - not rock solid investment material!
Recent and related articles
· Richard III signed document tops estimate by 628.3% | 13 June 2012
· King Edward £5 watch may sell for $23,000 | 12 June 2012
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