What are the Olympic medals made of?
Well, it depends.
- Solid gold medals haven't been used in the Olympics since the 1912 Stockholm Games.
- Аccording to current regulations from the International Olympic Committee (IOC),
- gold medals must contain at least 6 grams of pure gold and be made of roughly 92.5% silver.
At the PyeongChang Games, 2018:
- the gold medal is made of silver with a purity of 99.9% that's plated with 6 grams of gold
- The silver medal, naturally, is silver with a purity of 99.9%
--- which means the difference between the first place award and second place award is merely cosmetic
- the bronze medal is actually out of copper (Cu90-Zn10).
How much does an Olympic gold medal weigh?
- Gold: 586 grams
- Silver: 580 grams
- Bronze: 493 grams
How much are Olympic gold medals worth?
- Since these aren't hunks of solid gold, the medal's raw value may be a bit lower than you expected.
- Terry Hanlon, president of Dillon Gage Metals, revealed to CoinWeek that
--- if you add up the value of the silver and gold present in an Olympic gold medal the value is roughly $577.41.
- Obviously medals are worth more than their literal weight in gold
- There's a lot of sentimental value in these trophies, and they aren't sold very often. When they are, their value depends on the athlete and event and the story behind them.
- For instance, one of Jesse Owen's medals from the 1936 Olympics in Berlin sold for $1,466,574. That's clearly an outlier, but it gives you some sense of how much these mean to collectors.
- Medals from the Winter Olympics actually tend to fetch more at auction.
--- There are fewer sports in the Winter Games, which makes those medals rarer and increases their value.
the payment for these medals doesn't usually come from the medals themselves
- The US Olympic Committee pays athletes directly for their wins.
- This year, as part of Operation Gold:
--- gold medalists will take home $37,500
--- silver medalists $22,500, and
--- bronze medalists $15,000.