Before the Emmy winners are announced tonight and they grasp their shiny trophy on stage in front of millions, each one of those statuettes began as a pool of pure virgin metal, liquified at 700 degrees. That's hot.

The team at Chicago-area R.S. Owens has been manufacturing the awards for 38 years, and this short clip offers a cool behind-the-scenes of the completely hand-crafted process.

While it's not necessarily surprising that these 15-inch, almost seven-pound ladies aren't just coming off some random assembly line, it's still pretty incredible to see just how much their perfection relies on a series of steady human touches.

From the ladling of the virgin metal from furnace to mold, to carefully removing the excess bits and material once those have solidified, to the polishing, soldering, and affixing that iconic "neutron ball," it's all a result of people skills and equipment that dates back almost eight decades.

Before she gets her 24-karat goooold outer layer, Emmy's electro-plated with zinc, copper, and pure silver.

Fun fact: Nameplates for all the nominees are etched out, because no one knows for certain whose name will be called when the envelope is opened. Moan about who got robbed all you want, but regardless of who takes it home, these things are absolute beauts.

The Television Academy's not big on embedding, apparently, but you can check out the whole vid here (it's well-worth a click). [Core77; Television Academy; Wikipedia]