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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Dr. Francis Crick Nobel Prize for discovering DNA structure for Heritage Auction

The 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine awarded to Dr. Francis Harry Compton Crick, along with Drs. James Dewey Watson and Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins, for “…their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material” will be auctioned with an opening bid of $250,000 when it comes across the block at Heritage Auctions on April 10 as the highlight of the company’s Historical Manuscripts Signature® Auction.

Nobel Prize for discovering DNAThe auction of the medal is a historic moment, marking the first time in decades that a Nobel Prize has been sold at auction. It has been kept in a safe deposit box in California since Crick’s widow passed away, and has been consigned to auction by his heirs. It is one of 10 lots consigned by the family, including Crick’s endorsed Nobel Prize Check, dated Dec. 10, 1962 and one of his lab coats. The trove also contains nautical logbooks, gardening journals and books from Crick’s personal collection.

In addition, the Prize’s proceeds will again be used to promote ground-breaking scientific research, as a portion of the sale will be awarded to the new Francis Crick Institute in London set to be completed in 2015.

Crick’s initials are engraved on the reverse of the medal, along with the year of the prize, 1962, presented in Roman numerals: “F. H. C. Crick/MCMLXII.” The second piece of the Prize, the Nobel diploma – two beautifully handwritten, vellum pages, 9.5″ x 13.5″, in Swedish, dated Stockholm, October 18, 1962 – is also included.

Heritage Auctions is the World’s Third Largest Auction House with annual sales of more than $800 million, and 750,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit