The 2014 Academy Awards, which take place this Sunday evening, is the night most professionals in the film industry have been preparing for all year. There’s nothing more prestigious within the acting community than winning the coveted Oscar trophy — which many say Matthew McConaughey is sure to do for his lead role in Dallas Buyers Club — but the award is worth more than just bragging rights.
It happens to be a solid investment as well.
How Much is an Oscar Worth?
The Academy Award of Merit, more commonly known as the “Oscar” statue, is the most recognized trophy in the world, presented to top actors and actresses since 1929. The awards ceremony and trophy were created “to honor outstanding moviemaking achievements and thereby encourage excellence in all facets of motion picture production,” according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences website.
The statuette of a knight standing on a reel of film, holding a crusader’s sword was meant to represent majestic achievement. Since the initial awards banquet was held over 80 years ago, more than 2,800 statuettes have been presented, according to the Academy.
So how much is an Oscar worth? It’s hard to estimate the exact cost of the award because of the way it’s created. The statuettes are made from steel alloy britannium, dipped in 24k gold plating.
In 2011, CBS estimated that the award was worth around $400. Of course, gold prices were closer to $1,400 per ounce at the beginning of that year. With prices up to around $1,330 today, one could guess that the 13.5-inch, eight-pound award would be worth a bit less now.
This doesn’t mean that the awards don’t gain greater value at a later date. For instance, Joan Crawford’s Oscar award for her performance in “Mildred Pierce” was auctioned off in 2012 for $426,732.
However, well before awards are ever auctioned off, the greatest benefit Academy Award winners receive is the recognition behind their win.
Talent agents have estimated that clients average a 20-percent jump in pay with their next film after winning the award for Best Actor/Actress. That type of payoff is exactly what makes the Oscar award more than valuable — it’s priceless!