Overview of the world’s most expensive trophies
All athletes regard the trophies they win with pride and to them they are priceless. Any non cricket fan looking at the Ashes, for example, would have to wonder what could be so important about a small, unattractive pot! Now, everyone knows that Olympic gold medals aren’t actually solid gold, so what are some of the world’s greatest sports trophies made of and what are they really worth? Here’s a look at some of the most expensive.
FIFA World Cup Trophy
Probably the world’s most prestigious and expensive trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy was introduced in 1974 to replace the old Jules Rimet Trophy (once named Victory) and is awarded to the winners of the FIFA World Cup. The original Jules Rimet Trophy was made from gold-plated silver but the 1974 version is made from 6.175 kg of 18-carat gold mounted on two layers of malachite. It stands about 37 cm high. When it was first made, the trophy cost US$50,000 but these days is valued at about $20 million. Small wonder, the winning side only receives a gold-plated replica.
Possibly the biggest trophy in sport, the Borg-Warner Trophy stands 1.625 m high and weighs 45 kg. It is awarded to the winner of the Indianapolis 500 and was first presented in 1936. When commissioned it cost a then whopping US$10,000 but is now reckoned to be worth some $1.3 million. Made from sterling silver, the trophy is actually hollow and is unique in that a sculptured image of the winning driver is added to the trophy every year. Since 1988 winners have received a 460 mm replica, known as a ‘Baby Borg’.
The FA Cup is presented to the winners of the world’s oldest association football competition. In it fifth incarnation, the trophy was first presented in 1872. Stolen in 1895, it was replaced with a replica that was used till 1910 and was sold at Christie’s in 2005 for £420,000. The third trophy, a larger affair, was used until 1991, when it was replaced with an identical trophy because it had become too fragile. A new trophy, based on the 1911 trophy, was introduced for the 2014 FA Cup competition. At 6.3 kg it is heavier and sturdier than previous trophies.
Premier League Trophy
Probably the world’s most prestigious football league, the Premier League came into being in 1992. Champions are awarded a Silver gilt and sterling silver trophy on a malachite base that was designed by Royal Jewellers Asprey of London and stands about 104 cm tall with a total weight of 25 kg (the trophy and crown weigh 10 kg while the base weighs 15 kg). The value of the silver is around £3,700 but like all trophy’s it’s true value lies in the glory of winning it.
Champions League Trophy
Introduced in 1967 (the original was presented at the first tournament in 1956) the present UEFA Champions League Trophy is not particularly attractive but is the ultimate prize in European club football. The sterling silver trophy stands 71 cm tall and weighs 7.5 kg so in bullion terms it is not that valuable. Clubs that win five or more times or three times in a row get to keep. But, you’ll probably never get to buy even a copy as no one is licensed to produce replicas or miniatures.