Facts and figures on the golden prize

By Jane Birnbaum
March 26, 1993 at 05:00 AM EST

Handed out 2,030 times since 1928, Oscar is a coveted and well-known fellow. His facts and figures:

* Stands 13.5 inches tall and weighs 8.5 pounds.

* Designed by MGM art director Cedric Gibbons in 1927.

* Named in 1931 by an Academy librarian who said it reminded her of ”my uncle Oscar,” though the moniker is often erroneously attributed to Bette Davis noting a likeness to an ex.

* Manufactured by Chicago’s R.S. Owens & Co. for approximately $300 each, about 50 at a time. Each year between 35 and 40 are awarded; a few 1993 Oscars are vintage 1990.

* Hand-cast of Britannia metal (a pewterlike alloy) and plated with copper, nickel, silver, and 24-karat gold.

* Shipped via UPS to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which puts them in blue velvet bags and stores them in a locked area within a locked room (none has ever been stolen).

* Blank when handed to winners, who bring them to the Academy during the following week for engraved plaques to be screwed to the base.

* Engraved a second time for Spencer Tracy, Best Actor for 1937’s Captains Courageous, when his original read ”Dick Tracy.”