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Get to Know Olympic Medals’ Worth

Mon 02 Aug 2021 | 09:05 PM
Omnia Ahmed

On Monday, CNN revealed the prices of Olympic medals, whether it is gold, silver, or bronze.

Former British heptathlete Kelly Sotherton, who won a bronze in heptathlon at Athens 2004 and another for the 4 x 400-meter relay at Beijing 2008, told CNN Sport that her medals are a reminder of how her hard work and effort paid off.

"I would never sell my medals," Sotherton told CNN Sport on Friday. "They mean a lot."

The design of the medals changes for each games, and this time around they are the work of Junichi Kawanishi. Each of the gold, silver and bronze medals are 85 millimeters in diameter and range in thickness from 7.7 mm to 12.1 mm.

Gold Medal 

Gold Medal

Actually, the gold medal is made from gold-plated pure silver, with around 6 grams of gold out of a total weight of 556 grams. At today's prices, the gold medal would be worth around $800 if you melted it down.

Silver Medal

Silver MedalIn the same vein, the silver medal is made from pure silver and weighs around 550 grams. It is worth around $450 if you melt it down.

Bronze Medal 

Bronze Medal

Moreover, the bronze medal weighs approximately 450 grams and is in fact made from 95% copper and 5% zinc. The bronze medal is worth around $5.

Earlier this month, a winner's medal from the 1896 Athens Olympics sold for $180,000 at auction. In addition, Cuban shooter Leuris Pupo's gold medal from the London 2012 Olympics fetched $73,200.

Also, Pupo's compatriot Iván Pedroso's long jump gold medal from Sydney 2000 went for $71,335. All three were sold by Boston-based RR Auction.

Olympians tend to hold on to medals they have won, according to Richard Gladdle, from Baldwin's auction house in London.

"They very rarely come up for sale," Gladdle told CNN Sport on Friday. Gladdle added that when they put for auction it tends to be for philanthropic reasons.

The only Olympic medal Baldwin's auction house has sold was a gold medal from 1912, the last year that they were made from gold.