On March 16, 2019 a RIAA single award for Queen's classic "Bohemian Rhapsody" brought in the tidy sum of $20,000 in an auction held by Heritage Auctions of Dallas, Texas. Normally, "white matte" 1964-74 awards bring the highest prices, but this was a 1974-81 "floater" style piece. Floaters have been steadily gaining in value for the right titles.
And certainly, "Bohemian Rhapsody" is the right title right now. The award's value was no doubt helped by the namesake film that has won Oscars and other awards and which has brought new fans to Queen's music.
The award had the additional plus of being presented to Freddie Mercury as well, making it a collector's dream. Typically, awards presented to group members fetch the highest amounts. The award's value didn't seem to be dented by not having the original manufacturer's sticker attached to the rear or what looked like the lack of original backing paper. These are often attributes that help an award's perceived value.
Other impressive prices realized by RIAA awards at this auction included a white matte Gold single award to Jim Morrison for The Doors "Light My Fire" at $11,875, an unusual floater double Platinum single award to Freddie Mercury for Queen's "We Are The Champions" for $11,875, and a white matte Gold LP award to Bob Dylan for Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde at $11,250.
Following these were two Beatles titles: A white matte Gold LP award for Abbey Road presented to the Beatles, which fetched $8,750 and a floater Gold single award for "Nowhere Man" presented to John Lennon at $8,125.
See our article about the top prices attained in sales of RIAA awards here ($73K anyone?).
Want to know more about RIAA and other record awards? See our in-depth article here.