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The MGS Precious Metals Blog

Manhattan Gold & Silver is an industry leader in precious metal pricing and refining with more than 30 years of experience. During our time in the business, we’ve found the topic of precious metals to be a vast and interesting one. Here on our precious metals blog, we write in-depth posts about the science of precious metal refining, historical and modern uses for precious metals, market news, and much more. Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay current, and discuss the latest posts on our Facebook page.

How Much Gold is in a Nobel Prize?

October 17, 2017 07:00
How Much Gold is in a Nobel Prize?

The Nobel Foundation recently finished announcing the recipients for the 2017 Nobel Prizes. In addition to worldwide recognition, winners receive money, an honorary diploma, and a gold medal. We've previously written about Olympic medals and the surprising amount of gold used to make them. Now, we'll go over the metal content and melt value of Nobel medals.
    
Prior to 1980, Nobel Prize medals were made of 23k solid gold. Since then, they have been made of 18k electrum and plated with 24k gold. The actual amount of gold used to make Nobel Prize medals varies slightly each year depending on gold prices. On average, the medals weigh about 175 grams each.

Going by this information, we estimate that the 2017 Nobel Prize medals contain at least $5,000 in precious metals. Based on metal content alone, that makes them much more valuable than Olympic gold medals. Of course, the intrinsic value of a Nobel Prize medal is much greater than its melt value, and they usually command high prices on the auction block. Some examples include:
•    $795,614 for Alan Lloyd Hodgkin's medal
•    $765,002 for Leon Lederman's medal
•    $390,848 for Simon Kuznets' medal
•    $2.7 million for Francis Crick's medal
•    $4.75 million for James Watson's medal

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