Olive wreath competitions were a thing in ancient Rome, as you may or may not have known. However, the first Advanced Olympians did not compete for bronze and silver medals until 1896 and 1900, respectively. These years mark the beginning of the Modern Olympic Games.
But what about the medals that are considered to be the pinnacle of achievement? The first Olympics to provide winners with gold medals were held in 1904 in St. Louis. Prior to that, winners of Olympic events were only given silver medals.
The surge in the price of metals combined with record weight of medals themselves has contributed to the increased cost of Olympic medals, making them the most costly in recent history.
Even if they are down somewhat from the all-time highs, current prices for gold, silver, or copper are still at quite high levels. The Vancouver Olympic Committee, on the other hand, did not allow this prevent them from designing a medal that is truly deserving of being awarded to the best athletes competing on snow and ice.
Are The Medals Awarded For Gold Genuinely Composed Of Gold?
At one time, gold medals were really fashioned of genuine gold. According to ABC News, gold medals were made of real gold up to the year 1912, whenever World War II produced a scarcity. It is said that here is where the practice of chomping down on a olypmic medal originated. This is said to be a technique to test overall purity, however the scientific rationale for this practice is unclear.
In today’s games, only around 1.34 percent of a gold medal is really made of gold; the remainder is sterling silver.
How Much Is The Value Of An Olympic Gold Medal?
According to NBC New York, despite the fact that it has no monetary value, it has a market value of at least $750 based on the current price of metal. In accordance with the rules established by the International Olympic Committee, a gold medal must be composed of at least 92.5% silver and be plated with at least 6% gold.
Price of The Olympic Gold Medal & Dimensions
After doing some research, we came across several fascinating revelations, including the following:
The real worth of materials used to manufacture a medal is far lower than what the majority of people believe it to be. The truth of the matter is that gold medals are actually gold-plated medals.
According to the current requirements, which were established by International Olympic Committee, the gold medal must have a diameter of at least 60 millimeters, a thickness of 3 millimeters, and consist of a minimum of 6 grams of real gold.
In today’s market, the price of a single gold ounce ranges only between $1700-$1800 USD. The center of the medal is made of .925 sterling silver. It should go without saying that the materials themselves do not determine the true value of Olympic medal.
Olympic Gold Medal for Sale at Auction
There are times when Olympic medals are put up for auction, and the prices for these medals can reach over $300,000 USD based on who won the competition and who wore the medals.
The Olympics in 1912 were the final occasion that pure gold medals were awarded. To produce a medal out of pure gold in today’s world would require an investment of something in the neighborhood of $20,000 USD worth of raw materials.