Washington, Feb 26: The Nobel Prize medal awarded to Francis Crick in 1962 for discovering the structure of DNA will be auctioned April 10, Texas-based Heritage Auctions said.
This will be the first time that a Nobel Prize medal is being sold at a public auction. The opening bid is set for $250,000, reported Xinhua.
The medal has been kept in a safe deposit box in California since Crick's widow passed away, and has been handed over for 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.
"This year marks the 60th anniversary of the historic discovery of the structure of DNA and 50 years have passed since Francis Crick was awarded the Nobel Prize," said Kindra Crick, granddaughter of the famous scientist and spokesperson for the family.
"For most of that time, the Nobel Prize and the unique personal diploma have been locked up. By auctioning his Nobel it will finally be made available for public display and be well looked after. Our hope is that, by having it available for display, it can be an inspiration to the next generation of scientists."
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.
"The discovery of the structure of DNA launched a scientific revolution and forever changed human understanding of life," said Sandra Palomino, director of Historical Manuscripts for Heritage Auctions. "This medal is the embodiment of the respect and recognition that came with that momentous breakthrough."