How the weird and wonderful history of the World Cup Trophy can help you protect your own precious assets

18 July 2018

The FIFA World Cup is over and one of the most prestigious trophies in sport is heading back to France. But, what is the real value of the World Cup trophy?

The trophy itself is made of 18 carat gold. It weighs just six kilograms and stands at 36.5 centimetres tall. But football’s biggest prize certainly attracts attention and its predecessor was stolen on more than one occasion.

In 1966, the Jules Rimet Trophy, which was awarded to the winner of the FIFA World Cup between 1930 and 1970, was stolen. After one of Scotland Yard’s biggest investigations, the trophy was found by a dog, named Pickles, under a hedge in South London.

The Football Association had already commissioned a replica trophy in case it hadn’t been found in time for the World Cup in England. The replica is now displayed in the English National Football Museum in Manchester.

The original trophy was subject to theft again in 1983 in Brazil. This time, it was never recovered — it was likely melted down — but the perpetrators were tried and convicted.

The price of history

The current World Cup trophy was made in 1971 by the Italian Sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga. At the time, it was valued at US$50,000. It is estimated that the current value of the trophy is about US$200,000, considering its gold content.

However, if the trophy was to be auctioned, there is evidence to suggest it would likely fetch significantly more.

In 2016, Brazilian footballer Pele sold his 1958 World Cup winner's medal at an auction in London for £200,000.

Also, a “one off” Jules Rimit Trophy made for Pele after the 1970 World Cup went up for auction with a price tag of about £300,000.

The value of the current World Cup trophy will only really be known if it were ever to be auctioned. The gold content in the trophy is fairly easy to determine, but the real value is in the history and profile that the trophy has commanded over the years. So, the value is likely to be considerably greater.

Thinking about your own assets

Barry Vickery, JLT Specie, Fine Art and Jewellery CEO, said you should ponder similar risks to your own assets and how you protect them — whether it’s a sentimental item of jewellery or an important museum artefact.

“A key consideration is how and where items are stored,” Mr Vickery said.

“The security surrounding the storage and movement of valuable goods is important when underwriting a risk of this nature. These factors will help establish the premium the insurers will charge."

Barry Vickery said it was also worthwhile to work out the value of an asset.

"This can be done by having specialist experts evaluate the item,” he said.

How JLT can help

High-value goods, like the World Cup trophy, bring high risks, including theft. To overcome these challenges, you need to protect your assets. This means you need a broker that really understands your industry and has the expertise and experience to make sure your coverage adapts to reflect your risk.

“The market that insures valuable goods is dominated by Lloyds of London. However, over the past 10 years, we have seen that many more insurers have entered this specialist sector, around the world,” Mr Vickery said.

“At JLT, we have specialist insurance experts that work with the valuable goods sectors and those insurers that underwrite these risks on a daily basis.

“In the past 30 years, we have used our market-leading expertise and experience to broker insurance for everyone, including metal traders, armoured car carries, art galleries, museums, retail jewellers, private collectors and pawnbrokers.

“We’ve been able to build strong relationships with a multitude of insurers.

“This combination of experience and specialism means that we’ll have dealt with insurance needs similar to yours before, no matter how unique.

“We have always provided broad protection at competitive pricing.”