Famous Awards: The Nobel Prize

Nobel prizes are awarded for several categories in order to recognize academic, cultural, and scientific advancements in the world. The prizes are given in chemistry, literature, peace, physics, and physiology, with the results of some (notably literature, peace, and physics) being more widely celebrated than others. The Nobel Peace Prize in particular usually celebrates a beloved leader or figure that is frequently in the public eye. But while we usually recognize the winners of this prestigious award, how many of us know what the medal itself looks like, or any of the history behind it? As trophy experts – we do! Read on to learn a little more about the background of this object recognizing humankind’s incredible achievements.

What kind of award is it?
This is a trick question, actually – aside from a cash prize, Nobel Prize winners are awarded both a medal AND a diploma for their extraordinary achievement. The diploma is handed to winners personally by either the King of Sweden or, just for the Nobel Peace Prize, by the Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. As if that isn’t honorific enough, each diploma is hand-designed for the laureates who have won it, containing a related picture, title, and a description of the reason the award was received (except in the case of Peace Prize winners). Continue reading

Famous Awards – The Green Jacket

Not every trophy is shiny, metal and mantle-ready! We’re straying a bit off the beaten path with this one, but the Green Jacket is such an important symbol of achievement in the sports world that we just had to include it. Awarded to the winner of the Master’s Tournament, this garment represents the most coveted title in golf. It’s got an interesting history, too – read on to find out more about this revered prize!


The Green Jacket got its start as a garment worn by members of the Augusta National in 1933, who were given the bright coat so as to stand out as a source of information for visitors to their event. Originally made out of wool (despite the event taking place in Georgia, in spring – not necessarily the season for an overcoat), the jackets were once crafted in America, from American materials and by American craftsmen, but since 1996 are made by a famous British tailor. The first proper champion’s jacket wasn’t awarded until 1949, but all prior champions dating back to the first event in 1933 were given jackets retroactively. Continue reading

Crazy Awards around the World, Part 2: Global Edition

In our last blog entry, we compiled some of the wackiest awards given out in the United States. Now, we’re going global and featuring some of the craziest reasons to celebrate an “achievement”…if you can use that word to describe some of these occasions. As always, we’ve got trophies on the brain – feel free to post your ideas for what the trophy, medal or other award should look like for each of these different nutty competitions!

Ig-Noble Prizes

Though this competition takes place at Harvard, it features contestants from around the world, so we figured it counts. The Ig-Noble Prize award honors “achievements that make people LAUGH, then THINK”; in other words, they celebrate the unusual and honor imaginative efforts to encourage people’s interests in the sciences and technology. Going on its 25th year of celebrating “improbably research,” this award is given to “scientists” (real or otherwise) who challenge the preconceived ideas of what’s important and what isn’t in the arena of research. The awards are given to ten winners every year, for unusual or trivial achievements in scientific research. Our favorite winner from last year? The Arctic Science awardees, researchers who received the award for “testing how reindeer react to seeing humans who are disguised as polar bears.”

The Ernie Awards

This Australian award is actually quite socially progressive – it is “awarded” to companies or people who make sexist remarks or do sexist things. Named after a former government worker known for his own sexist remarks, 2003’s winner was awarded to the Stellar Call Center, for docking the pay of a pregnant woman who took “too many toilet breaks.”

The Bent Spoon Award

Another Australian award (note to those down under: we do international deliveries!), the Bent Spoon Award is given by an organization that calls themselves Australian Skeptics. The group’s own description states that it is “presented to the perpetrator of the most preposterous piece of paranormal or pseudoscientific piffle.” Our favorite was from 1998, when the Bent Spoon Award went to a university for publicizing support for “empowered water.”

The “Lanterne Rouge” Award

This award, meaning “red lantern,” goes to the competitor who places last in the world-famous Tour de France cycling race. Named after the red lantern that is hung on the last car, or caboose, of a train, it’s not actually meant to be a humiliation; rather, it’s given as a special kind of distinction, as it means that the cyclist finished the race rather than opting to drop out. Word has it that, once at the back of the pack, cyclists compete for the Lanterne Rouge award thinking that, while the few riders before the very last will be forgotten, the very last “loser” will at least be memorable.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our selection of some of the world’s wackiest awards, and that perhaps it even inspired you to design your own! Be sure to browse our huge selection of awards, medals, plaques and sports trophies in Philadelphia for the special event in your or a loved one’s life.

Wacky Awards Around the World: USA Edition

In case you haven’t noticed, we here at Spike’s Trophies in Philadelphia are a little award-crazy. We believe that trophies, medals, pins, plaques and other symbols of recognition are a fun and creative way to celebrate any achievement in life, and to show a winner that their efforts have been recognized and appreciated. That being said, some people have taken the idea of awards to a whole new level; we’ve compiled just a few of the nuttiest awards given out around the globe, starting on the home front. The big question we have, of course: what should their trophies look like??


The Stinky Shoe Award
This national competition, held in the U.S. andsponsored by Odor-Eaters, is exactly what it sounds like – the winner, who must be between the ages of 5 and 15, will be judged as having the smelliest sneakers of the bunch. Besides odor, the overall condition of the shoe is also considered to determine whose kicks possess the most potent combination of battered and pungent. Laugh if you’d like, but the overall winner takes home a cool $2,500; that’s enough for a decade’s worth of brand-new Nikes, which by then we’re sure are sorely needed.

The Stella Awards

This award was named after the defendant in an infamous lawsuit, in which Stella Liebeck sued McDonalds after spilling a cup of coffee onto her lap that caused burns. The award, in turn, recognized people who filed “outrageous and frivolous lawsuits.” Winners include: a man who sued Michael Jordan for “defamation and permanent injury” because he was often confused for the celebrity; a woman who, after being attacked by a squirrel, sued a mall for “failure to warn patrons of the presence of squirrels” outside the establishment; and a man who sued a dry cleaners’ for $65,462,500 after the business lost his pants. The Stella Awards stopped being issued after 2007 …perhaps the founders were sued by embarrassed “winners”?

The Pigasus Award

The Pigasus award, which “honors” frauds and phonies, is unofficially handed out by a magician named James Randi. Randi, who has been giving out the award since 1982, even created several different categories to properly distinguish all types of fraud: worst pseudoscience, most useless studies and most outrageous report of paranormal activity are just a few. Some famous names pop up in his list of awards, including the well-known television psychic Sylvia Brown. Looks like Randi won’t be calling Spike’s Trophies anytime soon: the skeptic reportedly sends out “awards” via telekinesis. This way, he says, “If the winners don’t receive the trophy, it must be due to a lack of paranormal talent” (source).

If you liked this post, bookmark the Spike’s Trophies blog for more interesting, weird and useful facts about the world of trophies and awards. If you’ve been inspired by these wacky awards and want to give out one of your own, check out our website to view our huge variety of awards, with options for all occasions and budgets.

Everyday Greatness Award – Edna Hart

This Medal and Plaque were present to Edna Hart on April 9, 2015

This Medal and Plaque were presented to Edna Hart on April 9, 2015

Everyday Greatness is the ability to care more about others than yourself, it’s the small random acts of kindness in the everyday activities that help make the community a better place to live. At Spike’s Trophies we make it our mission to find those in our community with a giving spirit and honor them for their work.

When we went through our nominations it was the one from Rick Atwell that really stood out to us. Rick nominated Edna Hart a long time volunteer of the Torresdale Boys Club, a youth organization dedicated to providing the boys and girls of our community with athletic and cultural programs designed to foster good sportsmanship, camaraderie and character development. She spends much of her spare time helping to make sure that the Club runs smoothly and the children in her community have a place to go to hang out, be active, and stay safe.

Edna has worn many hats during her time volunteering she has been: treasure, fundraising committee lead, she runs the kitchen, and spent countless hours on weeknights and weekends volunteering to stay so that neighborhood children can use the gym at times other than practice.

When presented with the award Edna stated that “It’s all for the children”. It was her kind spirit and generous hart that earned her the title of Everyday Greatness!


View video of the presentation here: https://youtu.be/YqAN90wpFVk

Spike's owner Ted Westervelt and Spike present Edna with teh Everyday Greatness Award

Spike’s owner Ted Westervelt and Spike presents Edna with the Everyday Greatness Award

Kids Choice Awards

KCA blimo

The Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award Blimp

Your award should represent your brand. Not all trophies are golden and sophisticated; some are bright orange and fun! The Orange Blimp is the award given to Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Award winners!
The Kids Choice Awards show is unique and is 100% voted for by fans – and more importantly by kids! There for it needed a unique prize! The orange blimp was introduced in 1990, 2 years after the award show began. Prior to the Blimp it was a gold statue shaped to look like a beret-wearing child standing up with his right leg crossed and holding up a long orange stick, with the word “Nickelodeon” inscribed on it. However Nickelodeon felt that this didn’t represent the Award show, which dumps neon green Slim on its winners, properly.

All nominations are kid friendly and can be voted for online on an app by views at home and the most popular wins. KCA has always been creative with how the announce winners opting to do away with the standard envelope and writing the winners names in balloons or on a surf board.

The Blimp Award is designed to look like Nickelodeons signature orange blimp that was used as a logo from 1984-2009. The Award is a hollow blimp figure which also functions as a kaleidoscope.

The 2015 Kids Choice Awards will take place Sunday March 28th at 8 pm EST and will be hosted by former Award Recipient Nick Jonas.

Do you have a unique event? Let Spike’s Help you design the perfect award to represent it!

The Lombardi Trophy 2015

After a tame (almost boring) start to the 2015 Super Bowl, the second half had you on the edge of your seat! The game was painfully close and with less than 2 minuets left the Seahawks chose to throw the ball at the 1 yard line allowing the Patriots to intercept and win the Super Bowl and take home the Lombardi Trophy for the 4th time.Lombardi_Trophy

The Lombardi Trophy has become one of the world’s most prestigious sports awards. It is named after legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi. The idea came to be in 1966 when NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle had lunch with Tiffany & Co. VP Oscar Riedner and he [Riedner] sketched out what would become the Lombardi Trophy.   Originally named “World professional Football Championship” trophy, it was renamed in 1970 to honor the great NFL Coach Vince Lombardi, who had lost his battle to cancer. Lombardi had led the Green Bay Packers to Victory in the first 2 Super Bowl games. It has also been referred to as the Tiffany Trophy.

The Lombardi trophy is an extremely elegant and simple design standing 22 inches tall and weighs 7lbs, it depicts a regulation football in a kicking position in a 3 concave sided stand made entirely of sterling silver! The trophy uses a heavy gauge of silver that is difficult to bend and shape, so the manufacturing process demands great expertise. First a spinner places onto a lathe a wooden chuck carved into the shape of half a football. A thick sheet of silver is placed on the chuck. With forming tools, it’s spun until it assumes the shape of the chuck. After both halves are formed, they are soldered together to form the ball. Then a silversmith hand chases the seams and laces onto the ball so that it resembles an actual football. The base is formed from sheet stock, which is hand hammered and soldered. The football is attached by a silver rod that comes up through the base and is secured by silver nuts and bolts.

During the manufacturing process, the trophy must be annealed five or six times because the repeated hammering hardens the surface. The annealing loosens the bonding of the molecules in the silver, allowing it to be shaped. After the trophy is complete, the NFL symbol and the Super Bowl number are hand engraved into a sheet stock of silver, which is applied to the base. While officially valued at $10,000 (in 1998), it’s a priceless symbol of hard-earned victory for the players and their fans.   The Lombardi Trophy is made every year and remains in the possession of the winning team, unlike the Stanley Cup or the Grey Cup which get reused year after year.   You can get a replica trophy at www.GoSpikes.com

The Oscars (formally known as the Academy Awards)


The Oscars are upon us! On February 22 the 87th annual Oscars Award Show, originally titled The Academy Awards, will take place. The official name change happened in 2013 for The Oscarthe 85th anniversary. First presented in 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, are overseen by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and ever since it’s first televised in 1953 it has become a world wide phenomenon.

Every year from all over the world people tune in to see if their favorite actor or film of the year will win. Oscar viewing parties will be held and fans will take part in the glamour and drama. Friends and family will discuss who’s dating who, what was worn, what is said. And of course everyone one waits in anticipation to see what entertaining wardrobe malfunctions and speech mistakes will be made, like last years “Adele Dazeem” mishap. The Oscars are a source of entertainment a night of light hearted gossip and competition as you route for your favorites.

Now lets talk about the golden award that this night is centered around! The Oscar is made of gold-plated britannium on a black metal base, it is 13.5 in (34 cm) tall, weighs 8.5 lb (3.85 kg) and depicts a knight rendered in Art Deco style holding a crusader’s sword standing on a reel of film with five spokes. The five spokes represent the original branches of the Academy: Actors, Writers, Directors, Producers, and Technicians.

The brittanium cast first receives a light copper electroplate, then heavy copper. Nickel plating is applied to seal the pores of the metal. Then the statuette is washed in silver-plate. Finally, the statuette is plated in 24-karat gold and receives a baked lacquer finish. Because the winners are top secret they will not be engraved until after the show. The engraver receives the list of winners only after the ceremony; they engrave the plates and ship them back to Hollywood.

“The Oscar is better now than it was 25 years ago because the gold content has been increased,” Owen R. Siegel, the manufacturer of the statuettes states. “I believe the Oscar contains more gold than any other famous award.” The specific dollar value, however, is a secret: “The Academy wants them to be considered priceless”.

Fun fact: Recipients can not sell or auction the Oscar. The Academy protects all of the statues to make sure they can not be sold on the market. All winners sign a contract stating that they will not sell the statue with out offering to sell it back to the Academy first for $1. Only 2 have ever been sold at auction.
- 1992 Harold Russel auctioned his 1946 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for “The Best Years of Our Lives”
-2011 Oreson Wells heirs auctioned off the 1941 Oscar for Best original Screen Play for Citizens Cane, this sold for 861,542.

You can however get the next best thing! A replica from Spike’s Trophies! http://www.gospikes.com/p-374-classic-achiever-award-on-marble-base.aspx###http://www.gospikes.com/SearchResults.aspx?searchterm=oscar###

Fun Facts about the Ryder Cup!

This weekend marks the 40th Ryder Cup Competition. Taking place in Scotland, this golf ryder-cupcompetition between Europe the United States happens every 2 years. But do you know where the Ryder Cup got its name?

The idea for the competition started in 1920 when Golf Illustrator suggested that a team of professional American Golfers play in the British Open in 1921. This started what would become a popular sports rivalry with more and more Americans participating in the British Open each year. In 1926 an English business man, Samuel Ryder announced he would donate a cup for an International competition. Starting what would become golf’s most important and competitive team competition, The Ryder Cup.

In 1927 A Ryder Cup “Deed of Trust” was drawn up formalizing the rules of the contest. The first 10 years the competition was only open to the US and Great Britain with the US dominating the game and winning the first 5 contests. (Quite different from the current threat of Britain’s hat trick win this year) The competition was put on hold during WWII and when it r resumed America continued it’s dominance in the competition leading to the inclusion of the rest of Europe in 1979. This change started much of the media and social hype that surround the Ryder Cup as we now know it with three teams: Team USA, Team Great Britain & Ireland, and Team Europe.

The cup itself is made from gold standing at 17 in tall, 9 inch wide weighing 4 pounds! (1/8th the weight of the Stanley Cup) It is rumored that the figurine at the top if the cup is depicted to be Samuel Ryder’s good friend and golf instructor Abe Mitchell.

At the time of its creation the cup cost $400, about $5,600 in today’s US dollars. This price tag is the reason that the PGA has a full size replica that is used at promotional events to avoid damage to the original. As of 2014

The US Team has won 25 of the 39 tournaments, winning team members all receive a mini replica to take home. Let’s see if this weekend team USA can bring home win 26!

Get your own life size replica at GoSpikes.com or call: 800.333.2927

Famous Awards – The Open’s Claret Jug

The Open Championship (a.k.a. the British Open), one of the four men’s Major Championships in the sport of golf, ends with the awarding of the iconic Claret Jug Trophy to the winner.  Spike’s Trophies carries a replica of this award that can be purchased and awarded by you.  You may not be familiar with the origins of the Claret Jug trophy, I wasn’t.


The Claret Jug, or to use its proper name, The Golf Champion Trophy, is presented to each year’s winner of The Open Championship. Yet it was not the original prize.  When the Championship began at Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland in 1860, the winner was presented with …

… the Challenge Belt, made of rich morocco leather, embellished with a silver buckle and emblems.  It wasn’t until 1872 that the “Jug” replaced the Champion’s Belt.


Like other iconic awards, like Lord Stanley’s Cup or the Green Jacket, the Claret Jug has long held a mystical and celebratory quality.  In designing the Claret Jug, it was well, just that – a claret jug. Claret is a dry red wine produced in the famous French winemaking region of Bordeaux.  The British Open Trophy, made of Sterling Silver and standing 52cm (approximately 20 inches), weighing 5.4 pounds including its base, was designed with a handle that resembles a bass clef and with insides hollowed out to hold the exact contents of a bottle of wine.  Certified appraisers have estimated that the Claret Jug may include as much as $1,200 worth of precious metals.  The sentimental and market value of the award is far greater.  It was made in Edinburgh in 1872 by Mackay Cunningham & Company.  There are now three tiers beneath the cup, engraved with the names of over 130 plus champions.  Every year, the winner’s name is engraved on the Claret Jug before it is presented to him.  The television coverage now shows the engraver poised to start work, with the commentators speculating about when he will be sure enough of the outcome, to begin hand engraving the next name.

Held upside down, the Open’s Claret Jug delivers a perfect pour.  This style of silver jug was used to serve claret at 19th Century gatherings.  The Golf Champion’s Trophy has held cheap beer, expensive Champagne and iced tea brewed by Justin Leonard’s mother.  Tiger Woods, winner of a few “Jugs”, has taken the trophy down from the mantle at times and filled it with various libations.  “Honestly, because of the consumption, I really can’t remember,” Woods said of what he put in it.

The original claret jug is kept under lock and key in a display cabinet in the R&A clubhouse, alongside the original first prize, The Challenge Belt, which was donated to the club in 1908 by the grandchildren of Tom Morris Senior.  There are in fact four copies of the original claret jug, one in the Museum of Golf at St Andrews, another in the World Golf Hall of Fame in St Augustine, Florida.  A third travels the world to exhibitions and the champion is allowed to take a fourth home for a year. He is given a replica to keep which is curiously only two-thirds the size of the original. Since the 1980s all those champion jug-hugging moments photographed for the world on the 18th green are with a replica. The trophy is returned each year for presentation to the new champion, but many winners privately commission copies of the ancient jug for their personal collections. This tournament is golf’s oldest major championship and, given its history, it holds a lot of prestige for its victors.

The Beginning
The impetus to provide the Challenge Belt had come from the Earl of Eglinton and derived from his keen interest in medieval pageantry. He was pre-eminent in encouraging sport throughout the social spectrum and was a leading light in setting up The Open Championship. The Earl donated many trophies for competition, including a gold belt for competition among the Irvine Archers. The original Challenge Belt was purchased by the members of Prestwick Golf Club.

According to the first rule of the new golf competition: “The party winning the belt shall always leave the belt with the treasurer of the club until he produces a guarantee to the satisfaction of the above committee that the belt shall be safely kept and laid on the table at the next meeting to compete for it until it becomes the property of the winner by being won three times in succession.”

In 1870, just 10 years after The Open Championship began, Tom Morris Junior won for the third consecutive time and became the owner of the belt. The future direction of the Championship was discussed at Prestwick Golf Club’s Spring Meeting in April 1871, during which a key proposal was put forward by Gilbert Mitchell Innes: “In contemplation of St Andrews, Musselburgh and other clubs joining in the purchase of a Belt to be played for over four or more greens it is not expedient for the club to provide a Belt to be played for solely at Prestwick.”

The motion was passed, but no final decisions were reached about venues or the involvement of other clubs, with the result that The Open Championship was not played in 1871. Moves to revive the competition resumed the following year. The minutes of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club, dated May 1, state that the green committee had been “empowered to enter into communication with other clubs with a view to effecting a revival of the Championship Belt, and they were authorized to contribute a sum not exceeding £15 from the funds of the club”.

To replace the original Challenge Belt, the three original clubs (Prestwick, with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers), finally agreed on September 11, 1872, to pay £10 each to provide a new trophy instead of another belt, which was a silver claret jug, and to jointly host the Open Championship. But that was only two days before eight players contested the Open. There was obviously no time to commission a new trophy and the winner was presented with what appears to be a standard, shop-bought medal (pre-dating Spike’s Trophies by 57 years). It was the first time that a medal had been presented. The famous claret jug trophy was hallmarked 1873. Its proper name was to be The Golf Champion Trophy. It was presented to the winner that year and every year for almost half a century. The first Open Champion to receive the new trophy was the 1873 winner, Tom Kidd, but Tom Morris Junior’s name was the first to be engraved on it as the 1872 winner.

In 1920 all responsibility for The Open Championship was handed over to The Royal and Ancient Golf Club. The tradition continued until three months after Bobby Jones won the championship at St Andrews in 1927. At that time the Championship Committee of the R&A decided that “in future the original Open Championship Cup be retained in possession of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club and that a duplicate be obtained for presentation to the winners”. The cost of this duplicate was stated to be about £40.

In 1928, Walter Hagen won the third of his four Open titles and accepted the replica Claret Jug, having already been presented with the original in 1922 and 1924. During the half-century in which the original Claret Jug was used, twenty-eight different players held it aloft, including Harry Vardon on a record six occasions.

In 1990 a further replica was made for display in the new British Golf Museum at St Andrews and in 2000 a third was made for use in traveling exhibitions, and a fourth was created in 2003 for the same purpose.

Memorable moment: In 1999, Paul Lawrie completed the greatest comeback in Open history, starting the final round 10 strokes off the lead while being assisted by Jean Van de Velde’s unforgettable triple bogey on the 18th hole.