Shortcut Navigation:

Golden Achievement

Honoring Our Cultural Icons

From ancient times to the present day, gold has represented success. Kings, conquerors and captains of industry claimed it as a prize and bestowed it as a precious gift. Today gold is our symbolic reward for cultural achievements. In film and theater, in the music industry, in sports and athletics or for outstanding bravery, gold signals the ultimate reward. To claim the gold is to be, simply, the best.

David di Donatello Award Gina Lollobrigida private collection

David di Donatello Award: Gina Lollabrigida, Best Actress, 1955, Bulgari, 18-karat gold and malachite. Rome, Italy; 1955.

The Envelope, Please

The competition for awards kindles excitement in audiences and contenders alike. The Oscar®, Emmy® and European awards, all cast their honorees in a golden glow.

The David di Donatello Award is modeled after the Renaissance statue of David by Donatello. The gold statue, presented by the Academy of Italian Cinema, weighs approximately 1,900 grams.

David di Donatello Award Bulgari Vintage collection

David di Donatello Award: Marilyn Monroe, 1958 Best Actress in a Foreign Film, 18-karat gold. Rome, Italy; 1958.

Emmy Award © AMNH / Craig Chesek

Emmy® Award: Tom Brokaw, News and Documentary, 2004. NBC's "The Death and Funeral of Ronald Wilson Reagan". Tom Brokaw.

And the Winner Is

The music recording industry recognizes excellence through Gold® records and Grammys. The first Gold® record was awarded to Perry Como in 1958 for his single, "Catch a Falling Star." The first Gold® album followed shortly and was awarded to the cast of the musical Oklahoma.

Exact replica of a lunar module © Cartier Collection. Photo: Nick Welsh

Exact replica of a lunar module: Cartier, Yellow and white gold, lacquer, enamel.

The Thrill of Victory

Whether racing to the finish line or hurtling through space, extraordinary achievements are recognized with extraordinary trophies.

Three individual 18-karat gold models of the American lunar module were made in 1969 by the jeweler Cartier of Paris on behalf of the French newspaper Le Figaro and presented to the three Apollo 11 astronauts during their postflight tour in Paris. This model was presented to astronaut Michael Collins.

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am - 5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
Maps and Directions

Enlighten Your Inbox

Stay informed about Museum news and research, events, and more!