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Not Much Real Gold In Those Gold Medals

There’s not much real gold in a Gold Medal:

If the Olympic gold medal was made of real gold, it would be worth a small fortune.

This year’s medals weigh between 375 and 400 grams, CoinWeek reports. They are the largest and heaviest medals in Olympic history. If the gold medal contained 400 grams of actual gold, it would be worth nearly $21,000 (using a spot gold price of $52.20 a gram).

But it’s been 100 years since the Olympic games gave solid gold medals to victorious athletes. Now, the gold medal is a mere 1.34% gold and 92.5% silver, with the rest made up of copper, according to Dillon Gage, one of the country’s largest precious metals dealers.

The silver medal is truer to form, containing 92.5% silver and the rest copper. The bronze medal is 97% copper, 2.5% zinc and 0.5% tin.

So how much are these medals worth? Using some back-of-the-envelope calculations, the gold medal is worth around $650. The silver medal is worth about $330 and the bronze medal is worth just $3.

Given the price of gold these days, this isn’t entirely surprising.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook