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How Much Is An Olympic Medal Worth?

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2008 Beijing OlympicsIf you ask an Olympian, the answer is that the medal is priceless.

If you ask the governments of countries, the answer is in the millions.

If you ask someone who is interested only in the precious metals in the medals, the answer is a little more pedestrian.

While the gold, silver, and bronze medals of each Olympiad are unique in their design, the IOC has minimum standards for medal composition. The Beijing medals are 70mm in diameter and 6mm in thickness, which is 10mm wider and 3mm thicker than IOC requirements. The IOC requires that the gold medal be made of pure silver and gilded with at least 6 grams of gold. They also have a fair amount of jade integrated into the design. Since there are no reports as to the actual composition of the medal, with respect to jade versus the precious medals, for simplicity I’ll assume the medals are 700mm x 6mm of 92.5% silver and six grams of gold (for gold, and 100% silver for silver). It’s a bit inaccurate but I think we can make do!

Six grams of gold is worth approximately $160 at average prices today and the other 92.5% of the silver is worth at about $60, again assuming average prices. A total price for the gold at $220 puts it higher than previous years in sheer previous metal values.

Or we could cheat and read reports on China spending $1.24M on the six thousand medals, making them an average of $206.66 each. Telegraph.co.uk priced the cost of a gold medal at $393 though this probably includes design, manufacturing and shipping. Compare this to Athens in 2000 when each medal cost $155 and you see how much of an impact gold prices have been.

So pretty!

2008 Beijing Olympic Medals: Front w. Ribbon

2008 Beijing Olympic Medals: Back w. Ribbon

Medals of Beijing Olympic Games unveiled (with detailed photos of the medals) [Beijing 2008]

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10 Responses to “How Much Is An Olympic Medal Worth?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Olympic gold is priceless are people tend to remember the Olympic champion in any sport as compared to the world champion probably because if you are the Olympic champion that title stays with you for four years.

    One just has to look at the reaction of American female hurdler LoLo after she fell leading the hurdles final to know that she thinks Olympic gold is priceless.

  2. Thomas says:

    You forgot the future public speaking fees, PR jobs handed to you,sports advertising, etc,etc.
    Olympic gold is worth hundreds of thousands…

  3. Patrick says:

    Wow, I was just talking with my fiancee on this topic the other day and it’s great that I finally know. I never knew that the medals had jade on the back. They are definitely beautiful and definitely priceless to the winners of those medals.

  4. Anonymous says:

    i was digging in my back yard and found a fencing bronze medal from 1984

  5. jane van order says:

    Dear Anonomous, Great find. The best thing I dug up in my backyard was a plastic dinasaur. After reading your posting, I looked up the names of the bronze medal winners in fencing from 1984. The only American was Peter Westbrook who won in individual sabre, so it’s probably his.
    I’ll bet if you contacted him, he’d be glad to pay you for it and thrilled to get it back.

    • Cynic1 says:

      Haha, not if he’s on the street and is a wino. He’d probably rob it from you, then pawn it for more booze!

      J/K, hopefully not!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have several metals for soccer.

  7. pinston says:

    i have a 1992 silver medal how much is it worth


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