How much is the FIFA World Cup Trophy actually worth?

How much is the FIFA World Cup Trophy actually worth

How much is the FIFA World Cup Trophy actually worth?: The FIFA World Cup trophy, which stands 36.5 cm tall and weighs 6kg, did not exist until seven decades after the tournament was founded. The trophy was once thought to be entirely made of gold with a malachite base. The trophy is, without a doubt, a priceless piece of sports history—but how much is it actually worth in gold, and how much will it fetch if it ever goes up for auction?

Uruguay hosted and won the first FIFA World Cup in 1930, and a gold-plated sterling silver trophy with a blue lapis lazuli base named Victory was awarded. In 1946, the trophy, a sculpture of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, was renamed the Jules Rimet Trophy after the tournament’s president and founder.

Brazil won the FIFA title outright for the third time in 1970, as per tournament rules. With the Jules Rimet Trophy now in the hands of team Brazil, the organiser decided to redesign the trophy.

FIFA chose the design of Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, which features two people holding up the earth, after soliciting bids from artists all over the world. Stabilimento Artistico Bertoni, an Italian trophy maker, was commissioned to create the new FIFA World Cup Trophy in gold with green malachite rings integrated into the base. The trophy is said to have cost $50,000 to produce at the time.

The trophy, which stands 36.5 cm tall and is made of solid gold, is estimated to be worth more than $20 million in gold weight alone. However, the weight of the trophy would be around 60 to 70 kg, making it impossible to lift, as is frequently seen when the prize is awarded to the winning team.

Instead, the trophy, which is said to weigh 6.175kg, is almost certainly hollow and plated in yellow gold. Tobias Kormind, managing director of online diamond and jewellery retailer 77 Diamonds, estimates that the trophy would cost $242,700 to produce today. “The trophy weighs 6.175kg, 4.927kg of which is 18-karat gold.” The rest is made up of the base and the lovely green-ish  malachite stone,” says Kormind. 

How much is the FIFA World Cup Trophy actually worth
How much is the FIFA World Cup Trophy actually worth

The jewellery expert breaks down the cost of the trophy’s various components, estimating that 2kg of malachite discs cost around $700 and the 4,927 grammes of 18-karat gold used cost just over $240,000.

He also estimates that the trophy takes about 40 artisanal hours to make; at $50 per hour, that adds another $2,000 to the overall cost.

“If replicated today, I estimate the total value of the trophy to be $243,363,” says Kormind.

This new trophy came with new rules: countries that won three times could no longer keep the trophy. Instead, the winning team receives a replica.

The replica weighs 5 kg and is made of thinly gold-plated brass. “Five kg of brass, a cheap material, costs $25, and 0.5 ounces of gold plating with a thickness of up to 3 microns costs $840,” says Kormind.

When that is combined with the cost of the malachite and workmanship, which is comparable to the original trophy, Kormind estimates that the total cost of producing the FIFA World Cup Trophy replica is $3,565.

If the trophy were to be auctioned off, Keanan Brackenridge, director of product and wholesale at precious metal and sports memorabilia retailer LPM Group Limited, believes it would likely fetch multiple times its weight in gold.

“The chances of such an important and famous trophy going up for auction or private sale would be one in a million,” Brackenridge says, adding that “it would easily sell for several million over (USD) if an opportunity was made available in the open market for active bids.”

Kormind adds that the production cost is not indicative of the trophy’s true worth. “Of course, this price calculation ignores the cultural significance, value, and aspiration associated with this highly coveted trophy, as well as the sweat that will undoubtedly be involved in acquiring it.”

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