Jul 25 2012

Olympic Gold Medal, Made of What?

 First things first: Gold medals are not made of gold.

The iconic Olympic gold medal is not a gold medal at all.

So what is it made of? How about silver, of all things? A smidge of gold is mixed in and a thin layer is added to coat the surface, but for all practical purposes Olympic champions are awarded silver medals in shiny gold casing.

At current gold prices, if each medal were made entirely of the stuff, they would be worth about $20,000 each.

But before we go poking around trying to find out where silver medals come from, let's hit the fact farm: The gold medal is comprised of 92.5% silver, just 1.34% -- or six grams -- of gold and the rest is made of copper. And funny thing about copper: It also makes up 97% of the bronze medal.

So to review: The gold medal is silver, the silver medal is silver and the bronze medal is copper.

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Comments (1) -

7/25/2012 6:15:48 AM
Olivia United States
Wait, so I understood that the athletes are usually seen biting their gold medals to test the malleability and thus see if the gold is real. But if the gold medal is not really made of gold, then why whould the athletes still bite the gold medals?
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