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How Much Are Olympic Medals Actually Worth?

medals
Adam Pretty, Getty Images

Olympic athletes often train for years in the hopes of someday getting a medal. But while the 4,700 medals currently being doled out in London are priceless to the athletes who win them, the actual value of the raw materials may be less than you think.

Weighing just under a pound and measuring three inches across, the London medals were made from eight tons of gold, silver and copper from mines in America and Mongolia. They’re the biggest Olympic medals ever designed and are almost double the size of those bestowed at the Beijing Olympics four years ago.

So how much are they worth?

The coveted gold medals are only about one per cent actual gold, with the rest being mostly silver and a little copper, and those materials are valued at just under $650, while silver medals are worth $330.

But the bronze medal — which is 97 percent copper, 2.5 percent zinc and 0.5 percent tin — is worth less than $5.00. Which is a pretty harsh step down when it’s often the slimmest of margins that separates the second and third-place finishers.

That said, the market value of an Olympic medal is far more, with gold medals sometimes selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction. But at least now you know some interesting (if disappointing) trivia.

[Daily Mail]

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