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Everything You Need to Know About the Oscars Statues

The 90th Annual Academy Awards are finally here. They were slightly delayed because of the Winter Olympics, but they'll be no less extravagant for that -- just think of them as fashionably late. Jimmy Kimmel is hosting yet again, and this was an insanely great year for movies, so even if there isn't a Best Picture snafu, it's going to be an exciting night. And above all, the rich and famous will yet again smile and hold golden statues. 

But have you ever thought about those small shiny men? Are they really gold? How much would one be worth if you tried to hawk one? Do they grant wishes? 

We're going to answer those questions and more:

What are the Oscars statues made of?

Well, they're not solid gold, unfortunately. The 13.5-inch tall award is made of solid bronze and plated with solid gold. They used to be made of a pewter-like alloy called Britannia metal, which is 92% tin, 6% antimony, and 2% copper.

How much is an Oscar statue worth?

Well since they're not solid gold, they're not worth that much. The statues are gold-plated and worth just $629. Of course, their sentimental value makes the case slightly more complicated. This is an award, not a used Buick. 

But if they were made out of solid gold, they'd be worth a heck of a lot. According to Dillon Gage Metals, which is one of the world’s largest precious metals wholesale trading firms, a single Oscar statue would be worth $439,308.45 if you consider gold is currently worth around $1,335 per ounce.

Can you sell an Oscar?

No, you sure cannot. Receiving an Oscar is actually more like being loaned an Oscar. You're allowed to keep it as long as you want, and you can pass it down to your heirs, but before you sell it you have to offer it up to the Academy for $10. And they're going to buy it.

Since 1950, Oscars winners have had to sign a contract that guarantees the Academy the right of first refusal. And if you try to skip that step, the Academy's lawyers will come after you. Roughly a dozen lawsuits have been filed over potential sales of Oscar statuettes. 

But Oscars have been successfully sold, as Academy Awards received before 1950 didn't include the right of first refusal. An Orson Welles' Oscar, for instance, once sold for $861,542 to an undisclosed bidder. 

But still, $10 is better than nothing.

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James Chrisman is a News Writer at Thrillist who has yet to be nominated for an Oscar. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow him on Twitter @james_chrisman2.