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What's an Olympic Gold Medal Worth?
Posted by Randall A Reinwasser on Friday, July 20, 2012
those Olympic gold medals aren't really too golden
Next week in London, athletes from around the world will go for the gold. But as it turns out, the Olympic gold medal is mostly made of silver.
Weighing in at 412 grams -- or roughly the weight of a can of green beans -- the gold medal is made up of only 1.34%, or about 6 grams of gold. The rest is comprised of 93% silver and 6% copper.
Melted down and sold at today's market value, those raw materials would be worth about $650.
In comparison, the silver medal -- made up of 93% silver and 7% copper --- would be worth about $335. The bronze medal, mostly made of copper, would be worth less than $5.
The Olympic games have not handed out solid gold medals since the 1912 summer games in Stockholm, Sweden.
The 2012 Olympic medals were made from nearly nine tons of metal from Rio Tinto's Kennecott Utah Copper mine in Salt Lake City and its Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia.
British artist David Watkins created this year's design on the front of the medal. The back depicts Nike, the Greek Goddess of Victory stepping out of the Parthenon.
The Royal Mint in South Wales pressed the medals in a 10-hour process that requires a 1,400°F furnace and nearly 1,000 tons of weight on a special press.
The 2,300 Olympic medals are currently being guarded at the Tower of London until the games begin, July 27.
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