Sotheby’s to auction John F. Nash Jr. Nobel Prize medal in single-lot sale Oct. 17

Mathematician’s life featured in Academy-Award-winning film ‘A Beautiful Mind’
By , Coin World
Published : 09/03/16
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The Nobel Prize medal for Economic Sciences awarded in 1994 to mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr. will be offered in a single-lot auction Oct. 17 in New York by Sotheby’s.

Nash’s life pursuing game theory, differential geometry and the study of partial differential equations is chronicled in director Ron Howard’s 2001 Academy-Award-winning film, A Beautiful Mind.

The medal, along with its original red morocco case, calligraphic diploma with original watercolor drawing by Bengt Landin, original box and attaché case for the diploma, and official letters from the Nobel Foundation and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, carries an estimate of $2.5 million to $4 million.

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Nash, who struggled with mental illness, died May 23, 2015, at age 86.

Heavier medal

According to, from the inception of the Nobel prize in 1900 to 1980, the “Swedish” medals, each weighing approximately 200 grams and with a diameter of 66 millimeters, were composed of 23-karat gold. After 1980 they have been made of 18-karat green gold plated with 24-karat gold. The weight is set at 175 grams for all medals, except for the medal for the prize in Economic Sciences (of which the Nash medal is one), which is set at 185 grams.

The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was established in 1968 in connection with the 300th anniversary of the Sveriges Riksbank (Swedish National Bank).

The Nash medal, designed and engraved by Swedish artist and sculptor Gunvor Svensson-Lundqvist, was struck at Myntverket (the Swedish Mint) in Eskilstuna, Sweden. Nash’s name is engraved on the edge of the medal.

The obverse of the Nash medal features a portrait facing left of Alfred Nobel, with the bank’s crossed horns of plenty below. This design distinguishes the Nobel Prize in Economic Science from the medals of the five prizes awarded under the terms of Alfred Nobel’s 1895 will creating the award.

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