Recently, I came across an interesting anecdote about the history of Nobel prizes: specifically, those that were awarded to James Franck (for work on quantum physics) and Max von Laue (for discovering x-ray crystal diffraction). Fearful of confiscation by the Nazis, both scientists illegally sent their medals to Niels Bohr in Copenhagen, for safe keeping. Franck then fled from Germany to America, prior to the Nazi invasion of Denmark in 1940.
At the time, sending the medals out of Germany was a very serious crime and, since they were engraved with the names of their recipients, Bohr feared what would happen to them if the medals were found by the occupying army. Fearful that the invaders would find and confiscate the medals, Bohr eventually passed the medals to the chemist George de Hevesy, who subsequently dissolved both Franck and von Laue’s medals in acid (aqua regia, specifically). He was able to hide the resulting black solution from the Nazi invaders and, after the war, the gold was precipitated out of the solution and sent to Stockholm to be re-forged into medals by the Swedish Academy. Bohr had previously sold his own medal at a charitable auction earlier that year.
In 1943, de Hevesy himself won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, for work on using isotopes to trace chemical processes.