The Oscar Awards (also known as Academy Awards) are held in Hollywood every year since 1929 to felicitate the best talent in various categories such as best director, best music director, best film, best actor, best technician etc. The statuette symbolizing the award weighs 3.85 kilograms and is cast in an alloy made of 92.5% tin and 7.5% copper. Excluding the value of the gold used to give the finishing touch, the statuette's intrinsic value is not much. However, being the most prominent award, it is of immense value in the Hollywood film industry. So much so that in 1999, one Oscar statuette raised 15,42,500 dollars in an auction!
Pop star Michel Jackson paid 1.54 million dollars for 34 centimeter tall statuette which was originally awarded to the producers of the movie, Gone with the Wind, released in 1939. Till 1950s the Oscar winning actors, producers and directors would sell their awards in lieu of money to overcome their financial crises after their retirement. Therefore, in 1951 a rule was formed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences/AMPAS that winners of the Oscar award cannot sell their statuette without AMPAS's permission.
Academy Award (Wikipedia)