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Sochi Olympics – How Much Gold in a Gold Medal?

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With the Sochi Winter Olympics recently coming to a close, and the Paralympics in full swing, everyone is well and truly into the Olympic spirit. The events are fun and very different to those we see in the Summer Olympics, adding a bit of winter entertainment to our screens. Winning an Olympic Medal is something of a big and well deserved honour, to the athlete and their countries. However, some people decide they want to sell their gold medals after they have won it at pawnbrokers like Albemarle Bond in the UK. A few examples are: Mark Wells, who won a gold medal in 1980 for Hockey, sold his Gold Medal to help pay for his medical bills. Anthony Ervin won a gold medal in the year 2000 for swimming. He retired at the age of 22 trying to figure out his own life and decided to sell his medal on EBay for charity.

The Olympic Gold Medals used to be made of solid gold. Now the medals are made of something else. The last completely gold medal to be awarded was in 1912. The medals now (the ones that are used in the most recent Olympics) are made up of 92.5% Silver. Gold medals could not always be won, it used to only be silver and bronze. Before medals were won, it was cups or trophies that would be awarded to runners up and winners.

An Olympic gold medal is worth a lot on both historic, personal and capital value. The value of a gold medal (taken from the 2012 Olympics) is $620. They try not to let it vary much from year to year. The winter Olympics’ (held in Sochi this year) have medals which have a net value of $550, a little less than back in 2012.

There are however certain criteria and regulations that a gold medal has to meet, both to be able to be given out and in the way they have to look (they are required to meet certain diameters in length and width and have a certain gold to silver ratio). The name of the Olympic sport is written on the front of the medal.

References:

http://mentalfloss.com/article/31390/4-olympians-who-sold-their-gold-medals-and-one-who-tried

http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/story?id=100405

http://chemistry.about.com/od/gold/f/Are-The-Olympic-Gold-Medals-Real-Gold.htm

http://chemistry.about.com/od/metalsalloys/f/what_are_olympic_medals_made_of.htm