Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
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Monday, March 12, 2007

But can you put it on e-bay?

Nature reports that sometime over the past couple of weeks somewhat pinched a Nobel Prize medallion from the University of California at Berkley. Estimated to be worth $4,000 in gold alone, the medal is arguably worth a lot more than that intact. However, how does one fence a hot Nobel medallion? An interesting problem to have.

The Nature article describes the adventures of other Nobel medallions, including a recent recovery:
In January, police in Salt Lake City, Utah, recovered the Nobel medallion given to Kay Miller in 1985 for work with the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. Police found it while searching for a gun in the car of a man wanted on domestic violence charges; he had previously rented an apartment from Miller.
What a loser - he has a Nobel medallion sitting in his car?!?

I am always amazed by the criminal mind and the mental process which motivates people to steal what they cannot display or sell (at least not easily). I understand pinching a car radio because fencing such a product is not hard and the odds of being caught are considerably lower (although not zero). But pinching a Nobel medallion?

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