They are superb objects in their own right,
often reflecting craftsmanship of very high quality. Examples of the work
of some of the world’s leading jewellery and gold- and silversmiths
can be bought at a fraction of the cost of their jewellery and other items.
Designs are often iconic and highly memorable, conceived by major creative
figures and speak eloquently of the culture and artistic movements of
their countries of origin. Even the many colours and shapes of ribbons
have stories to tell.
These decorations are a physical link to the great deeds and events of
the past – a tangible presence of past times in today’s world.
The trials and triumphs of Finland’s struggle for freedom and independence
are charted in her awards for valour. The passage from Empire to Kingdom
to Republic is reflected in successive versions of France’s Legion
d’Honneur. And so it is for every country. Orders and medals help
us to connect with our past and discover our human heritage.
Historically, orders and medals have been good investments and a useful
diversification from the mainstream of shares, bonds and property. Small
in size, they are easy to store and very portable. Of course, there is
no guarantee that past performance indicates what will happen in the future.
But above all, the most compelling reason we know to collect will always
be “because I really want to!”