This totally lovely PRINCE WILLIAM & KATE MIDDLETON COMMEMORATIVE COASTER - CREST, by The Coaster Company, features a white background with a design of faint, miniscule golden intertwined wedding rings, separate portraits of the happy couple, what look to be Prince William's and Catherine Middleton's personal coats-of-arms, (can't be too sure of that, but that's what they look like to me), and, underneath these portraits of "Catherine Elizabeth Middletton" and "Prince William Arthur Philip Louis", are the words, "To commorate the wedding of / Prince William & Kate Middleton on the 29th April 2011."
For some reason, (don't ask me why, call it "Royal Wedding Fever"), I bought three different flat, cork-based coasters, all made by "The Coaster Company". Like many people, I suppose, I do NOT intend to use them as coasters, but as souveniers.
At least, having bought three does give me a chance to compare them all. But, of the three I have bought, I believe this one is the nicest at which to look. The others I bought were the "Heart Motif With Union Jack" commemorative wedding coater, and the "Purple" Commemorative Wedding Coaster.
All three of the coasters have the same, thin cork backing. All three feature the name "Kate Middleton" -- and that, I guess, is why I bought them. Because quite soon, perhaps, people will stop callng Prince William's new wife "Kate Middleton", and begin using her new, and proper titles: "Princess Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge." Or so, I think, the palace HOPES they will. Already, in many of the commemorative items, the word "Kate Middleton" is nowhere to seen, with the more formal "Catherine Middleton" replacing it. I feel quite definitely that ANY collectible, with the name "KATE Middleton" should increase in value more than any collectible with the name "Catherine Middleton" on it, because those with "KATE" are presumably were produced at an earlier....er....DATE (!)
This particular coaster -- called the "Crest" coaster -- is interesting because it has BOTH the names "Catherine Elizabeth Middleton" AND "Kate Middleton" upon it.
The light background on this coaster makes it seem sunnier and less croweded and somber of the other two coasters. Also, the "double ring" motif in the background appeared only briefly elsewhere, (I saw the very same motif on the TODAY Show's early reports on the Royal Wedding)-- but soon disappeared, when it was announced that Prince William was not going to wear a wedding ring, and hence his wedding with Catherine Middleton would be a single-ring ceremony only. The inclusion of the "double-ring" motif on THIS coaster might add to it's collectible value. But as I'm really NOT an antique expert, I can't say for sure. It's just a hunch on my part. Still...one never knows....
This coaster does not, (at least in the example I possess), have a gold label on the back, as is pictured in the official description, here. No -- mine has a different label, with, however, simiar wording, The label in the back of my copy of this coaster has a label with the Union Jack on, and super-imposed on it is the wording: "The Coaster Company / Spring Lane South / WR14 1AT / Tel. ----- ------ (spelled out on the coaster label, not given here for privacy reasons), / An e-mail address, (ditto) / abd the words "Handmade In Great Britain" /
The same label and the same wording, is on the back of the "Heart Motif on Union Jack" coaster, made by the same company, (which I have also reviewed for Amazon.)
All three of the coasters have a cork backing of approximately the same thickness.
However, while this, "Crest" coaster, and the "Heart Motif With Union Jack Coaster", are seemingly made with only a lightly laminated paper covering the top, the "Purple" commemorative coaster seems to have an ever-so-slightly more durable
lamination. The "Purple" coaster has a slight, swirling design in it's lamination, which is totally invisible unless you hold it up to the light. When you run your finger down the "Purple" coaster, it makes a slightly louder noise than when running your finger down either of the other coasters, because of this, probably more durable, swirl-design coating. Of the three coasters I have bought, only the
"Purple" coaster has the gold label, which is supposed to be on this, "Crest" coaster. Interetingly, the "Purple" coaster shows the couple together, whilst in the other two coasters, they are shown in separate ovals. But these "separate oval" portraits are taken from the same picture as that on the "Purple" coaster -- the by-now famous, "Royal Engagement" photo.
To me, it is a great pity tht the "Crest" coaster, herein being reviewed, does NOT have the "swirl" coating. To me, it is themost attractive of the three coasters I own. Unlike the, (to me), "too-busy and too-crowded" design of the "Heart Motif on Union Jack" coaster, and the dark background given by a purple encirclement of the portrait of the happily-engaged royal pair, in the "Purple" coaster, this beautiful "Crest" coaster seems to radiate the happiness and carefree spirit of the happily-engaged soon-to-be-married pair. The golden, double-ring background lends an air of regality to the carefreeness of the white which surrounds it, (as well as portraying the "seldom seen"(?) double-ring insignia.
So, though of the three coasters I own, the "Purple" coaster seems the best made, this "Crest" coaster wins hands-down, in the design category.