The glitter on the central figure at this year's academy awards ceremony has never been so costly.
With gold at an all-time high, the price of each gilded Oscar to be presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Feb. 24 has jumped to a record $500 from $400 last year, academy spokeswoman Teni Melidonian said.
``The skyrocketing price of gold has definitely made things more expensive,'' said Scott Siegel, president of Chicago-based R.S. Owens & Co., which makes the statues.
The 13 1/2-inch Oscar won't be the only piece of glitz at the jewelry-studded event whose value has soared. An ounce of gold rose about 40 percent, reaching $950, in the past year as surging prices of commodities including oil boosted the metal's appeal as a hedge against inflation. While the statuettes are only plated with gold, they can be worth a fortune to their winners, said Kenneth August, a media and entertainment specialist at accounting firm Deloitte & Touche USA LLP.