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Oscar StatuetteThis year’s Golden Globes were full of surprises: Jodie Foster’s speech, former President Clinton introducing best dramatic picture nominee “Lincoln”, and so on. Attention is now turned to the Oscars, scheduled to happen on February 24, 2013. It promises to be a great night, filled with many exceptional movies and gorgeous people, as usual.

The most recognised trophy in the world, the Oscar statuette has stood on the mantels of the greatest filmmakers in history since 1929. Since the initial awards banquet on May 16 1929, in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel’s Blossom Room, 2,809 statuettes have been presented. Each January, additional new golden statuettes are cast, molded, polished and buffed by R.S. Owens & Company, the Chicago-based awards manufacturer retained by the Academy since 1982.

Oscar stands at about 34.30 centimetres tall and weighs in at a robust 3.8 kilograms. Actors, directors, producers, technicians and writers give their best every year to try to put their hands in one of them, but how much is it really worth?

The statuettes presented at the initial ceremonies were gold-plated solid bronze. Within a few years the bronze was abandoned in favour of britannia metal, a pewter-like alloy which is then plated in copper, nickel silver, and finally, 24-karat gold.

Since the statuettes are gold plated which means not much gold is used, Go Banking Rates estimates the current worth of an Oscar statuette to be closer to US$500 (about $594 NZD).

This is cheap for something worshipped by so many however its true value lies in what it represents.