Earning a prestigious award such as an Oscar, Golden Globe or Emmy can boost an actor or actress’s career — and earning potential. But aside from the added clout, how much are the awards themselves really worth? Not surprisingly, the statuettes cost hundreds of dollars to make, as they’re all made from real precious metals. But when it comes to resale value, some are worth significantly more than others.
Click through to see the richest nominees to never win an Oscar — and what those awards are worth.
Cost per award: $400
Oscar statuettes cost $400 to produce, reports CBS News, and they’re made of solid bronze plated in 24-karat gold. However, the value of the award is actually only $1 due to a 2015 court ruling that states that it must first be offered to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for $1 before an Oscar statuette can be put up for bid, Entertainment Weekly reports. Its value has actually dropped over the years: the value was $10 at the time of the ruling but has since declined.
2. Total Cost of Awards for the Oscars: $9,600
Statuettes are given to Oscar winners in 24 categories, bringing the minimum cost of the awards given out to $9,600. The real cost is actually greater, as some categories, such as Best Screenplay and Best Visual Effects, can be given to multiple people. In addition, the Academy makes extra statuettes each year to account for ties and the possibility of multiple recipients in some of the categories, since they are not privy to the winners before the live envelope opening.
3. ‘Gone With the Wind’ Oscar Sold for $1.54 Million
The most expensive Oscar ever sold at auction went to Michael Jackson, who bought producer David O. Selznick’s “Gone With the Wind” Best Picture statuette for $1.54 million at a 1999 Sotheby’s auction. After the singer’s death in 2009, the statuette was considered missing as no one knew where he stored it, The Hollywood Reporter reports. A representative for the estate told THR they were hopeful the statuette would be found so it could be reclaimed by his children.
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4. Orson Welles’ Oscar Sold for $861,142
Orson Welles’ 1942 Best Screenplay Oscar for “Citizen Kane” sold for nearly a million dollars at auction, but the statuette had been embroiled in legal battles for years before being sold to its final owner in 2011, AOL reports. The Oscar went missing and resurfaced 10 years after his death in 1994 when a cinematographer attempted to sell it at auction. Welles’ daughter Beatrice sued for repossession, won and then tried to auction it off in 2003.
However, the Academy sued Beatrice, as they had banned the selling of statuettes — except back to the Academy — in 1950. But because Welles won the award before that rule was put into place, the statuette was able to be auctioned off. It was ultimately sold by Nate D. Sanders’ auction house for $861,142.
5. Herman Mankiewicz’s Oscar Sold for $588,455
The Best Screenplay Oscar for “Citizen Kane,” awarded to Orson Welle’s writing partner Herman Mankiewicz, was also a big winner at auction. His statuette sold for $588,455 at an auction held by Nate D. Sanders in 2012.
6. Golden Globes
Cost per award: $800
The Golden Globe Awards statuettes are created at a small factory in Oklahoma, where the six artisans that make up Society Awards work with high-tech machines to create each one, MarketWatch reports. All of the artisans are college educated, and many have electronic engineering degrees that enable them to work with the sophisticated machinery. The $800 cost accounts for the level of skill of the people who create them and also the materials used: The statuettes are made of marble and zinc and are covered in genuine gold.
7. Total Cost of Awards for the Golden Globes: $20,800
The Golden Globes give out awards in 25 categories plus the Cecil B. DeMille Award, bringing the total minimum cost of the statuettes for the show to $20,800. However, MarketWatch reports that Society Awards produces 100 statuettes for each show, which is likely to account for multiple people winning in each category or ties. That means the actual total cost of the awards is closer to $80,000.
8. Marlon Brando’s Golden Globe Sold for $68,500
Marlon Brando’s 1955 Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for “On the Waterfront” was sold for $68,500 at a 2013 auction conducted by Heritage Auctions, The Hollywood Reporter reports. According to the report, the award sold for tens of thousands of dollars despite scratches on its marble base.
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9. Natalie Wood’s Golden Globe Sold for $17,500
Natalie Wood’s first Golden Globe — her 1957 New Star of the Year award for her role in “Rebel Without a Cause” — fetched $17,500 during a 2015 auction held by Bonhams. Her Golden Globe for “From Here to Eternity” also sold for $17,500 during that auction.
Cost per award: $400
The Emmy Award statue — which pictures a woman with wings holding an atom — costs $400 to make, People reports. Each statue takes five-and-a-half hours to produce and is coated with copper, nickel, silver and gold. The Television Academy actually gets some of the money they spend to make the statues back: In certain categories where the winners include a large number of people, some have to pay a fee to keep the statue, according to People.
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11. Total Cost of Awards for the Emmys: $46,400
Emmy Awards are given out for a whopping 116 categories. Outside of the categories shown during the televised broadcast, awards are given for a variety of fields within the television industry including casting, lighting design and stunts. The $46,400 does not account for all of the categories that have multiple winners, so the actual cost could be much higher.
12. Station Achievement Emmy Award Sold for $17,365
Even though the winner of the 1954 Station Achievement award Emmy is not marked on the statuette, the rarity of the award itself enabled it to rack up $17,365 at an auction held by Nate D. Sanders in 2012.
13. ‘The X-Files’ Emmy Award Sold for $15,786
During a 2012 auction held by Nate D. Sanders, an Emmy for Outstanding Makeup for a Series for the 1998 to 1999 season of “The X-Files” sold for $15,786. The award was given to makeup artist Mark Shostrom for his work on the episodes “Two Fathers / One Son (Parts 1 & 2).”
About the Author
Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert.