Pure gold? Yeah, right!
The games of the XXX Olympiad are underway. Sportsmen from all over the world are competing to be faster, higher, stronger in the quest for the gold medal. But, in the end, is it really worth it? We could say -without hesitation- yes! There is no doubt the first place in the Olympic Games is not overrated, it is in fact, a big deal.
However, champions get a gold medal as a token, an indication showing they deserve a precious metal to acknowledge their performance, a precious metal more valuable than others given to the second and third places (silver and bronze).
In our day, nevertheless, medals given to the champions are not made of pure precious metals. For instance, the gold medals given to the champions in the London 2012 Summer Olympics are barely gold. In fact, they are made of 92.5% silver, 1% gold and less than 7% copper, making a value of approximately £ 410.00 if melted. Those medals weigh around 400 g. and have a diameter of 8.5 cm.
Sentimental value may be given to those round pieces of metal, and they do sell very well at auctions, but now you know those things hanging from the athletes’ necks are basically alloys and paint is what really distinguishes the prizes awarded to the first and second place.
The medals awarded in the games of the XXX Olympiad are made by the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, near Cardiff, from metal mined in America and Mongolia. One side features a design showing the River Thames and the London 2012 logo, while on the other is a picture of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, emerging from the Panathinaiko Stadium in Greece.
Despite the commercial value the melted medals might have, champions do earn more than just a few bucks. Federations and sponsors are known to reward athletes and sportsmen for their performances.
July 30th, 2012.