A Word About Collectible Gold and Platinum Awards

The popularity of the Gold & Platinum awards has made them valuable collectibles, and their manufacturing has evolved into a specialized field. For the past 10 years, in order to curb potential fraud and abuse the RIAA has enlisted licensed framers, of whom Dejay is one, giving them the exclusive right to prepare awards. An RIAA-certified title permits a record company to purchase from these licensed frame shops the official RIAA awards bearing the specialized holographic seal.

After the hologram style of awards was introduced, the traditional size and style restrictions for awards were relaxed, giving record companies more freedom in choosing a design for a particular award. Customized awards and impressive designs, which now include the CD configuration, are a collaborative effort on the part of the record label and the licensed plaque manufacturer. The collectible value of these awards depends on a number of factors including the artist, title, presenter, format and condition of each award.  The style of the RIAA awards has a history of its own:

"White Matte" (1964-1975) - The plaques were an off-white linen material displayed in an unpainted, finished wood frame. The dedication on the plate was engraved with an etched RIAA seal and a mini-cover of the LP was mounted separately from the plate.

"Floater" (1975-1981) - The award background was usually black matte enclosed in a wood frame painted either gold or white. The disc and plate appeared to "float" between the background and a layer of Plexiglas. The mini-cover of the LP was mounted separately from the presentation plate.

"Strip-Plate" (1982-1984) - The award background was dark. Unlike previous awards, the mini-cover of the LP was included on the presentation strip plate. These awards were also the first to contain either a gold-or-silver plated cassette, acknowledging the increasing contribution of cassette tapes toward sales. The cassettes were located either directly beneath the album disc or on the LP itself.

"Hologram" (1985 to present) - An RIAA holographic seal incorporating the RIAA logo has appeared on all RIAA plaques since March 1985. The hologram is used to prevent unauthorized duplication of awards, and usually appears on or near the presentation plate along with the dedication and mini-album cover.

For more information on collecting Gold and Platinum awards, see "Goldmine's Price Guide to Collectible Record Albums," 3rd Edition.

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