Platinum has never been so popular says the Queen's Personal Jeweller

4 minutes

(Image: Master craftsmen at G Collins & Sons create bespoke pieces of jewellery in the workshop)

Harry Collins was appointed Her Majesty the Queen’s Personal Jeweller in 2000 and his jewellers, G Collins & Sons in Tunbridge Wells, received the Royal Warrant in 2005. As the Platinum Jubilee celebration fast approaches, he discusses the beauty of platinum – and more.

“As the Queen’s Personal Jeweller, I am responsible for every piece of jewellery she owns and the total care of those items. Each piece is kept in perfect condition so the Queen is ready for any occasion, including this year’s Platinum Jubilee.

It is the ultimate honour in my profession to be the Queen’s personal jeweller – and, to me, Her Majesty the Queen is just not Queen of England – she is Queen of the World.

(Image: Queen’s Personal Jeweller Harry Collins)

(Image: Shop Front – summer)

I think it is going to be a busy year. Her Majesty has an amazing team around her and I work closely with them. They know when Her Majesty is travelling but it is the Queen who ultimately who decides what she wants to wear.

Choosing what jewellery to wear is a personal choice for everyone. If anyone comes into my shop, I always start with wanting them to love the jewellery first and foremost. If you enjoy the piece, it is a good investment because you are getting real value by wearing it.

I work with clients to see what they like, what colours suit them and guide them regarding what should hold well as an investment.

Practically everything we work with in the workshop is platinum. It is much stronger than gold and because of that we can use very fine claws to hold a gemstone in place.

Up until the Victorian era, most jewellery was made with 18ct yellow gold, then came the Art Deco period in the mid-war years, where platinum came into its own.

With platinum you get a great refraction; the light goes through the diamond which means you get more light bouncing back. I am particularly keen on Art Deco styling, too, with all of those sleek, geometric lines.

(Image: 18ct yellow gold wedding ring 4mm)

(Image: This 10ct oval diamond ring is a treasure to enjoy wearing, not just an investment)

Mix it up!

I like to think there is still a place for yellow gold – there is a certain warmth to gold. I try to tempt people to mix it up – not to just go for solely gold or solely platinum but wear them together. It looks really good; a yellow gold bracelet put next to a white gold bracelet and the same with a chain so you are not tied to one colour. I am not keen on ‘I only wear one colour!’

Platinum and diamond wedding bands have never been so popular and I also find, because not everyone gets married, eternity rings have become big sellers. They are a great symbol of eternal love, particularly for Valentine’s Day. Antique jewellery also has its own popularity for people wanting something different.

Demand for platinum and diamonds has also grown during the pandemic because people have had more time to look at their investments. We closed for 28 weeks during lockdown, but we have a loyal client base and they came back straight away when we were allowed to reopen and made up for those 28 weeks in just a few weeks.

(Image: Engagement rings made of platinum and diamonds are top sellers)

(Image: Platinum Eternity rings symbolise eternal love)

Investing in jewellery

Buying jewellery with the right advice should certainly bring a great chance of a good investment. Prices for ‘Fancy’ coloured diamonds have gone up tremendously but there is still plenty of room for growth.

Often, when clients have enough white diamonds they’ll tend to look at other colours. Pinks, blues, yellows and red have been doing very well.

(Image: Fancy colours such as aquamarine are fashionable) 

(Image: Fancy colours such as a yellow diamond ring can be a good investment when using expert advice)

Laboratory diamonds have always been around in all sorts of good synthetic materials and there will always be a market but, in my opinion, they do not have the beauty of a natural stone, they will never be as good as real diamonds.”

Insuring your jewellery

Whether you are a long-term collector or new to buying bespoke jewellery, remember the importance of regular valuations.

Insurers recommend that you obtain a jewellery valuation at least every five years, preferably three in today’s market. But check your schedule and policy wording for specific requirements.

Insurers will require any valuation to be for “insurance purposes” and for retail value. You should also consider how you would replace your jewellery in the event of a loss. Would you want a brand new replacement with a modern equivalent (New Replacement Value) or would you prefer an antique replacement (Antique Replacement Value)? Ensure the items are photographed, kept in good condition and your documentation is in a safe place to help in the event of a claim. It’s a good idea to send a copy of your valuations to your broker, whether or not the insurer requires it.

To speak to Howden about insuring your jewellery call 020 8256 4901 or email