How Much Is an Oscar Worth?
Winning an Academy Award is priceless. But if you’re looking to sell one—that price is fixed. Since 1950, the Academy has made Oscar winners sign a contract stating that neither they nor their heirs will attempt to sell the Hollywood hardware on the open market. If winners decide they no longer want a statue, they’re legally obligated to offer it to the Academy first. But the exchange rate is terrible! According to the contract, the owner is entitled to only $1 in compensation.
Interestingly, there’s an opportunity for collectors, because pre-1950 awards aren’t regulated by this agreement. Early Oscars regularly rake in six figures at auction, and it can get pricier. In 1999, Sotheby’s got a cool $1.5 million for Gone with the Wind’s 1940 Best Picture Oscar. The buyer? Michael Jackson.