The Nobel Prize is about more than just prestige. Winners of the international award, which has been around since 1901, also receive an 18-karat gold medal and a check of nearly $1 million.

The prize money can be traced back to the award’s creator and the inventor of dynamite, Alfred Nobel, who stipulated that his estate (worth $197.4 million today) would continue to accrue in value by investing in “safe securities” back in 1895. It would then be awarded annually to prize winners.

In 2016, the Nobel Foundation decided that each prize would include roughly 8 million Swedish Krona, or $923,179.20. The gold medals also carry a hefty price tag. Two earlier Nobel winners have sold their metals, fetching $765,002 and $4.7 million in auctions.

While each Nobel laureate receives his or her own gold medal, if one prize has multiple winners, the cash reward is split.

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics, for example, went to three winners for their study of matter in extreme states: the University of Washington’s David Thouless, Princeton University’s Duncan Haldane, and Brown University’s Michael Kosterlitz.

Thouless will receive roughly half of the prize, $461,589.60, while Haldane and Kosterlitz will be awarded a quarter each: $230,794.80.


The three winners of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry will split their prize evenly for their work in nanotechnology. The University of Strasbourg’s Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Northwestern University’s J. Fraser Stoddart, and the University of Groningen’s Bernard Feringa will each receive about $307,726.40.

The sole winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine, Yoshinori Ohsumi from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, will receive the award in full for his work on cell recycling.

As will the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for his efforts to end his country’s half-century-old civil war. U.S. President Barack Obama, who won the award in 2009, ended up giving his prize money to charity.

The winners of the Nobel Prizes in Literature and Economic Sciences have yet to be announced.