Oscar Statuettes: Are The Oscar Award Plaques Made Of Real Gold and How Much Is It Worth?

The Oscar statuette is the most prestigious prize in Hollywood – Read on for how much the price stands as at now what it is made of?

As the Academy Awards ceremony is rapidly approaching, excitement is building about which entertainers and films will take the top awards this year. Actors, producers, and others in the film industry seek the coveted “Oscar” for the best in film, but it isn’t so much for the value of the golden statuette itself. How much is an Oscar worth?

The question of the value of an Oscar depends on what type of value is intended. If you’re considering what it’s worth to an actor, filmmaker, cinematographer, or anyone in film to win the Academy Award, the value to that person’s career is hard to even estimate. But if you mean the resale value of the actual statue, you might be disappointed to find out the truth.

Winners of the best Picture Oscar in 2022, Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur, for ‘CODA.’

What is an Oscar worth?

The statuette that has become the iconic symbol of the pinnacle of film achievement is the Oscar. However, despite the negotiating and earning power an Academy Award win can bring to one’s career, the physical statuette isn’t worth much. According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, winners are prohibited from selling their statuettes without offering them to the Academy for a $1 sale.

As CNBC explained, the rule exists to prevent Oscar winners from profiting off the sale of their trophies. The Academy’s regulations mean that anyone who has won the Academy Award must offer it to the Academy for $1 before trying to sell it or otherwise get rid of it. It isn’t clear how many past winners have actually taken this route; perhaps they all have kept their statuettes.

An Oscar at the 2015 Academy Awards.

How long ago did the Academy make the rule about selling Oscar awards?

Since 1951, the Academy has followed these regulations that require Oscar winners to offer their statues back to the Academy for a symbolic $1 price, rather than selling them for a profit. This guideline is included in a long list of rules protecting the integrity of the organization and its terminology and symbols, including the statuette and the term “Oscar.”

And if you’re thinking, what if a past Oscar winner dies and leaves the statuette to an heir? Unfortunately for those heirs, they aren’t free to sell an Oscar statuette either. The Academy stipulates that anyone who receives an Academy Award statuette by “gift or bequest” must also offer it to the Academy for sale for $1 before trying to sell it.

Since the rule began in 1951, Oscars awarded before that year are permitted to be sold or collected. There are several notable Oscar statuettes that have sold in the past for hefty sums of money, but only for those awarded prior to 1951.

  • In 1999, Michael Jackson paid $1.54 million for the 1940 Best Picture Oscar awarded to Gone With The Wind.
  • In 2011, the Oscar given to Orson Welles for writing Citizen Kane was auctioned for $861,542.

Is the Oscar award made of real gold?

Perhaps you could come up with a basic figure indicating the value of the metals the Oscar awards are made from, even though winners aren’t allowed to sell them anyway. According to Oscars.org, the statuettes are fashioned from solid bronze, and then plated in 24k gold. They are therefore not pure gold.

Do Oscar winners and nominees get paid?

To put it simply, the answer is ‘no,’ the winners don’t get paid in cash. As per media reports, there never really is any direct cash prize for winning an Oscar; however, those who do win, see a boost to their bank accounts and reputation, often eventually.

Here are some fun facts about Oscar statues.

If you’ve wondered about the details of the Oscar statuette, check out these pieces of trivia:

  • They’re 13.5 inches tall and weigh 8.5 pounds.
  • It takes 3 months to make 50 of the statuettes.
  • Cedric Gibbons designed the original Oscar statuette, and artist George Stanley was the sculptor.
  • Academy librarian Margaret Herrick said the first statue looked like her Uncle Oscar, and the name eventually stuck.

Related Posts