James Watson’s Nobel Prize gold medal has sold for $4.8 million at a Christie’s auction.
The 1962 prize was awarded to James Watson, Maurice Wilkins and Francis Crick for discovering the structure of DNA, with each receiving a gold medal.
The medal is the first Nobel Prize to be put on sale by a living recipient.
The discovery of the structure of DNA – which encodes the instruction booklet for building a living organism – was made by James Watson and Francis Crick, using experimental data that had been gathered by Maurice Wilkins, Raymond Gosling and Rosalind Franklin.
James Watson said he planned to donate part of the proceeds to charities and to support scientific research.
Christie’s auction house had said the gold medal could fetch between $2.5 million and $3.5 million.
In an interview with the Financial Times recently, James Watson said he had been made to feel like an “unperson” since a Sunday Times interview seven years ago in which he linked race to intelligence.
Francis Crick’s Nobel medal sold for $2.2 million in 2013. He died in 2004.