Mugs, fridge magnets, chocolate bars, retro handbags and whisky – these are just a few of the items of memorabilia that companies have been releasing in the run-up to the platinum jubilee celebrations in June which will mark Her Majesty's 70th year on the throne.
Even toy manufacturing giant Mattel has jumped on the bandwagon with a Queen Elizabeth Barbie doll.
Featuring an elegant white gown with a delicate floral print, a blue sash, silver jewellery and a twinkling crown, the new limited-edition collector's item Barbie sold out within hours of being released. Which just goes to show how excited people are about the jubilee.
It's the first time a living royal has been transformed into a Barbie and Professor Kate Williams, author of Our Queen Elizabeth, sees the doll as a fitting tribute.
“Queen Elizabeth’s reign has been one of extraordinary impact, holding a position that few women have. The longest reigning British monarch, and the first to reach a platinum jubilee, the queen has dedicated herself to service and duty and seen the world change immeasurably.
"As Her Majesty celebrates this milestone jubilee, it's wonderful to see an iconic brand like Barbie share important historical female figures' impact as leaders, creators and pioneers to new generations.”
Collectors who were lucky enough to buy one of these dolls, which retailed at $75 (about R1 200), are now selling them on eBay for over $300 (R4 800).
But this shouldn't come as a surprise. Previous royal memorabilia, such as the knick-knacks commemorating Prince William and Kate's wedding in 2011, have soared in value in a relatively short time. For example, a three-piece bone china set covered in burnished gold and platinum and finished in 22-carat gold celebrating the wedding sold for R14 700 in 2018.
So how do you choose what to buy?
Jennifer Gait, an appraiser at Prestige Pawnbrokers says, “When choosing a piece of memorabilia to invest in, it'd be wise to research how many pieces are available of the item. If a piece is mass-produced with thousands in circulation, it'll have more competition in the future and impact the value.
“Another point to consider would be the appeal of the item as sometimes pieces can be very niche and only desirable to a few individuals. Memorabilia can be items personally used by royalty or commemorative pieces made to mark an occasion. The former tends to command higher prices as these are more favourable with collectors.”