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How much would Oscar or Emmy be worth in pure, solid gold?

April 8, 2009 |  9:55 am

A mischievous idea struck me today when I read that gold is now $880 per ounce. How much would an Oscar or Emmy statuette be worth if it was made out of real, pure, solid gold?

Well, an Oscar weighs about 128 ounces, so that means it'd be worth $112,640. An Emmy weighs about 120 ounces, so that would put its value in that precious yellow metal at $105,600.

Oscars Emmys gold 5 As things stand now, Hollywood's much-ballyhooed and fiercely coveted "golden statuettes" are really made primarily of cheap metals (copper, nickel, etc.), then merely dipped in liquid gold of various degrees of purity. Each Oscar statuette costs about $500 to make. Emmys cost between $300 and $400 apiece, depending on how many times each statuette is dipped. The West Coast TV academy that bestows the prime-time Emmys claims that it dips its Emmy statuettes more times than the East Coast TV academy that doles out the daytime Emmy. True? Or is that just another harrumph and "Meow!" from the always-clashing academies?

Now let's calculate how much it would cost to give all Oscar winners real, gold statuettes in a given year. There are 24 races. There are varying, multiple winners in many categories (several producers can get awards for best picture). Oh, let's say 32. Multiply that by $112,640 and that comes out to about $3.6 million. Can the academy afford it? Yes. Each year the telecast earns about $70 million in advertising, of which the academy keeps about $30 million in profit. Paying about 10% of that to bestow real gold statuettes would be a bargain and a great investment because it would go a long way toward dispelling Hollywood's reputation as a town full of phonies.


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