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How Much Is the Nobel Prize Worth?

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A modern medal is 18 carat green gold plated with 24 carat gold.

The design on the Nobel Prize medal varies, but each modern medal is 18 carat green gold plated with 24 carat gold.

Jonathunder (photographer); Erik Lindberg (sculptor & engraver, 1902).

Question: How Much Is the Nobel Prize Worth?

The Nobel Prize honors scientific research, writing and actions that the Nobel Foundation feels exemplify service to humanity. The Nobel Prize comes with a diploma, medal and cash award. Here is a look at how much the Nobel Prize is worth.

Answer: Each year the Nobel Foundation decides on the cash prize awarded to each Nobel laureate. For 2012, the prize is worth 8 million SEK (about US$1.1 million or €1.16 million). Sometimes this goes to a single individual or the prize may be split between two or three recipients.

The exact weight of a Nobel medal varies, but each medal is 18 karat green gold plated with 24 karat (pure) gold, with an average weight of around 175 grams. As of October 8, 2012, 175 grams of gold is worth $9975 or about ten thousand US dollars. The Nobel Prize medal may be worth even more than its weight in gold if the medal goes up for auction.

The Nobel Prize garners prestige that translates into value for the university or institution affiliated with the laureate. The schools and companies are more competitive for grants, better equipped at fund raisers and attract students and brilliant researchers. A 2008 study published in the Journal of Health Economics even indicates Nobel Laureates live one to two years longer than their peers.

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