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Olympic Games: Are the gold medals really made of pure gold?

Question by LollyPop | 2017-09-30 at 12:30

At the Olympic Games, an incredible number of medals are awarded for all kinds of sports. I am really wondering, whether all of those gold medals are actually really made of real pure gold.

Actually, it would be much too expensive to produce any real gold medal, right? Is it really just a cheap imitation? Or are they real? The same question applies, of course, to silver and bronze at the Olympics.

0Best Answer0 Votes

The last real gold medal was awarded in 1912 at the Olympic Games in Stockholm. At that time, the medals were only 24 grams in weight, the gold price for one ounce was only 19 US dollars.

Today, this would be invaluable and unaffordable: the price for an ounce of gold is way above over 1000 US-Dollars. A single of today's medals (400 g) would cost over 20,000 euros / 24,000 dollars. With more than 300 Olympic decisions - partly even in teams - more than 7 million euros (8 million dollars) would be the price for the gold medals alone!

For this reason the gold medals are only gilded outside with a thin layer of real gold. That is about 6 grams and 1.34% of the total material. On the inside, however, gold medals consist mainly of silver (92.5%) and bronze (6.16%), which are actually reserved for the second and third place winners. Thus, a gold medal has only a material value of about 600 euros, which nevertheless still amounts to around 180,000 euros (210,000 dollars) for all gold medals awarded.

Silver and bronze are, of course, much cheaper than gold, so the silver medal and the bronze medal also contain a large proportion of the correct material. Nevertheless, the medals are also blended with cheaper materials.
2017-10-01 at 12:15

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