Nobel Prize up for sale in rare auction

simon kuznets nobel prize
A Nobel Prize in Economics is due to go up for auction on Wednesday. Opening bid: $150,000.

You want a Nobel Prize in Economics? It will cost you at least $150,000.

The Nobel Prize given to economist Simon Kuznets in 1971 is going up for auction starting Wednesday. The minimum bid is $150,000 and it's only the sixth Nobel Prize to be auctioned and the first in economics.

The 7.25-ounce, 23 karat gold medal is worth nearly $9,000 just for the value of the gold.

But it's rare that Nobel Prizes hit the collector's market -- and that could drive up bidding.

(UPDATE: The Kuznets prize sold for at auction on Thursday for $390,848, according to Nate D. Sanders Auctions.)

The Nobel Prize given to James Watson in 1962 for his work discovering the structure of DNA fetched $4.76 million in December from an anonymous buyer, and a manuscript of the speech he gave when accepting the award went for another $365,000.

Related: Warren Buffett's Cadillac sells for $122,500

But other recent Nobel prize sales were for considerably less.

The 1936 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Argentina's Foreign Minister Carlos Saavedra Lamas went for $950,000 last March, while the 1935 Nobel for Physics given to James Chadwick for his discovery of a neutron sold for $329,000 in June.

A manuscript of Kuznets' speech is included in the auction of the prize. He won the award for his "interpretation of economic growth which has led to new and deepened insight into the economic and social structure." He died in 1985 at the age of 84. The prize is being sold by his son.

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