Oscars and Gold
As the months fly by in 2019 towards March, film buffs all over the world wait with bated breath for the 91st Academy Awards – The Oscars, scheduled to take place in Hollywood, California at the prestigious Dolby Theatre. The event will commence at 1700 hours, Pacific Time on the 25th February 2019 (it will last from 01:00 – 05:30 UK time). The event is, of course, the most important film event in the world and notable films of 2018, their actors, directors and a host of other industry professionals will receive awards for their contributions to the world of cinema.
Origin of “Oscar” name
The “Oscar” name’s origin has been revealed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. They say that Margaret Herrick, an Academy Librarian who went on to become an Executive Director said the statuette resembled her Uncle Oscar, so staff began calling the award an “Oscar”.
The Oscar statuette
The Academy Awards were started in 1929 and since then the committee has awarded 3,072 statuettes to honour the contributions of not just the great actors and actresses, but also the film professionals for their individual achievements in the field of cinema across the world.
The famous and unmistakable statuette is 13.5 inches in height and weighs 8.5 lbs. The statuettes have always been plated with 24-carat gold. It is important to note that initially the body was actually made of bronze and only plated with gold on the surface.
Currently, Katherine Hepburn holds the record for the most Oscar awards for best actor with 4 awards and 12 nominations.
Since the 1930s, the bronze body was discontinued, and the new choice was an alloy called ‘Britannia Metal’, which was further mixed with a number of metals, including nickel and copper and finally plated with gold. A lot of people mistakenly believe that the entire statuette is made of pure gold. A metal shortage during World War II resulted in painted plaster being used instead of metals for three years. The academy later recalled these statuettes during the post-war period and exchanged them for the gold-plated ones.
In 2016, the academy contracted a New York based company to construct a 3D printed replica from a digital scan of the original 1929 statuette, which was then used to manufacture the new line of Oscars. Bronze is being used again in order to take the design back to its original version.
The price of the Oscar gold
The Oscar award is worth a lot more than its weight in gold they say.
This is literally quite true. The actual production cost of an Oscar is only $400. If the entire gold plating on the statuette was melted and sold, it would fetch a paltry $57, or thereabouts. Believe it or not, this is because the gold plating on the statue is approximately 200 times thinner than a human hair at 0.38 microns! However, while the Oscars may not be worth their weight in gold, their collector value is immense. The academy has a clause in place wherein every winner signs a clause that gives the academy the first right of refusal at a price of $1 if a winner wanted to sell their statuette. In spite of that, 75 statuettes have reportedly been sold and the estimated market price is close to a million and a half USD.
Confusion as to the legality of selling an Oscar, frequently arises after the death of the Oscar recipient where this clause becomes fuzzier.
Losing an Oscar!
With the busy lives that many of Hollywood’s elite live, you can excuse them a few indiscretions! Losing an Oscar sounds unbelievable but this has happened on numerous occasions, with celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Colin Firth, Jeff Bridges, Marlon Brando, Matt Damon and Whoopi Goldberg all misplacing their statuettes.
Call us to know more about investing in gold
While you may not win an Oscar anytime soon, it’s heartening to know that there’s not much gold in it anyway! However, we want to ensure that your investments aren’t made in the same way. If you want to discuss your gold investments, please call us on 020 7060 9992 or get in touch with us online to discuss your investments in precious metals.
Image Credit: Prayitno Photography