Last week we reported that James Watson’s gold Nobel prize medal brought a whopping $4.75 million, far in excess of the recent $2
million price for Francis Crick's Nobel. So who bought it? The Guardian published the answer on December 9, 2014. -Editor
man in Russia and a major shareholder in Arsenal football club has come forward as the buyer of James Watson’s Nobel medal – declaring that he now
plans to give the piece back.
Alisher Usmanov, the Russian entrepreneur, paid $4.1m (£2.6m) for the medal at an auction at Christie’s in New York city last week, but said he
will return it to Watson, who with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, shared the 1962 Nobel prize in medicine for discovering the double helical
structure of DNA.
Usmanov, whose steel, mining and other assets are worth $15bn according to Forbes, said he wanted the medal to remain with its rightful owner and
for the money he spent on the item to be donated to scientific research.
"In my opinion, a situation in which an outstanding scientist has to sell a medal recognising his achievements is unacceptable," Usmanov said in a
"James Watson is one of the greatest biologists in the history of mankind and his award for the discovery of DNA structure must belong to him," he
Watson became the first living laureate to auction his Nobel medal in a sale that earned far more than the $3m that some experts had predicted.
Last year, the family of Francis Crick, who died in 2004, sold his medal for $2.27m.
the auction, Watson said he was selling the medal to raise money for the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Long Island, from where he was suspended as
chancellor after he claimed that black people were not as intelligent as whites.
After the unusual intervention, Usmanov said that Watson could now keep the medal but donate the proceeds of the sale to the research institutions
that had "nurtured him", including the universities of Cambridge, Chicago and Indiana.
"Dr Watson’s work contributed to cancer research, the illness from which my father died. It is important for me that the money that I spent on
this medal will go to supporting scientific research, and the medal will stay with the person who deserved it. I wouldn’t like the medal of the
distinguished scientist to be an object on sale," Usmanov’s statement said.
Was the buyer of Francis Crick's Nobel an underbidder for the Watson medal? That could explain why the price was driven so high.
It only takes two deep-pocketed bidders to create a new record price. What does this mean for the market? Are the days of gold Nobels selling for
under seven figures a thing of the past? -Editor
To read the complete article, see:
James Watson’s Nobel prize medal in order to return it
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
JAMES WATSON'S 1962 GOLD NOBEL PRIZE MEDAL (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v17n49a23.html)
WATSON'S 1962 NOBEL MEDAL BRINGS $4.75 MILLION
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor
at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.
NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster