Are The Olympic Gold Medals Pure Gold?

With the 2012 Summer Olympics just around the corner we looked into the jewelry associated with these amazing athletic games.  Of course, the Gold Medal immediately came to mind.  So we had to ask, Are these Olympic Gold Medals pure gold?"  Decades ago gold was expensive but today gold is astronomical in comparison.  So are the gold medals pure gold?  The answer is no.  An Olympic gold medal contains 550 grams of silver and is layered with just 6 grams of gold.  The value of this amazing piece is $494.  10,500 athletes will compete for these medals and a total of 302 gold medals will be up for grabs at the upcoming Olympics in London. So now you may ask yourself, what would be the value of a pure gold medal?  almost  $20,000! Gold medals have been presented to winners since the first Olympic Games in 1896.  For each host city, different medals are created and the design as well as the size have changed over time.   The London 2012 Olympic gold medal will be the largest medal to date.  Artist David Watkins created the goddess Nike, for the spirit and tradition of the Games, and the River Thames, for the city of London. On the back of the medals is the 2012 branding, representing the modern city as a jewel-like, geological growth. The logo is shown against a 'pick-up-sticks' grid which radiates the energy of athletes and a sense of pulling together. The River Thames runs through the middle as a celebratory ribbon. The bowl-like background recalls ancient amphitheatres, with a square balancing the circle to give a sense of place. The sport and discipline are engraved on the rim of each medal, all of which will be produced by the Royal Mint at Llantrisant, South Wales.


2012 olympic medal. Image courtesy of IOC