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The last Olympic gold medal that was actually made from gold was awarded in 1912. So, if Olympic gold medals aren't gold, then what are they? The specific composition and design of Olympic medals is determined by the host city's organizing committee. However, certain standards must be maintained:
  • Gold and silver medals are 92.5% silver.

  • Gold medals must be plated with at least 6 grams of gold.

  • All Olympic medals must be at least 3 mm thick and at least 60 mm in diameter.
Bronze medals are bronze, an alloy of copper and usually tin. It's worth noting that gold, silver, and bronze medals have not always been awarded. At the 1896 Olympic Games, the winners were awarded silver medals, whiile the runners-up got bronze medals. The winners at the 1900 Olympics received trophies or cups instead of medals. The custom of awarding gold, silver, and bronze medals started at the 1904 Olympics. After the 1912 Olympics the gold medals have been gilded silver rather than real gold.

Although the Olympic gold medal is more silver than gold, there are gold medals that are really gold, such as the Congressional Gold Medal and Nobel Prize Medal. Before 1980 the Nobel Prize medal was made from 23 carat gold. Newer Nobel Prize medals are 18 carat green gold plated with 24 carat gold.

Olympic Ring Chem Demo | Scientists Create Olympic Rings Molecule


August 4, 2012 at 3:06 am
(1) Lynn says:

Very interesting!

August 5, 2012 at 3:15 pm
(2) gary woods says:

I like ribena i do

August 5, 2012 at 8:02 pm
(3) joseph says:

LOL, Someone needs to tell that brat Maroney who “won” silver for screwing up her 1st vault and falling flat on her arse for the 2nd one. She seems to think that the silver medals cost more to make than the gold ones (see her tweet). That means the jeweler would have to have paid the recipient for the privelege of coating the common or garden 92.5% silver medal with 6grams of gold?!? What kind of sense does that make?
I guess this McKayla Maroney is just a common or garden materialistic american teenager. Who, in the opinions of millions of other fair play types, in no way deserved a place in the top 7 never mind a place on the podium for gymnastic vault at 2012 olympics. But then again, fair play has never reared its “ugly head” at any Olympics since they left Greece.
Look at Ogogo’s 1st fight…he went into the 3rd round 1 point ahead (undeservedly so) where he got the crap leathered out of him, yet the judges deemed it a draw, then took it to countbacks to obfuscate the matter. To borrow a phrase, It’s a mad mad world we live in.

August 6, 2012 at 8:19 am
(4) lisa says:

big up for the Ribena guy!!

August 6, 2012 at 5:30 pm
(5) Ray says:

The only brat here seems to be joseph.
These girls and I stress girls are just that: girls. They’re teens and they don’t know anything as they haven’t lived out in the real world yet.
As to whom deserves what, that’s all up to the judges. If you have a problem with Maroney winning a Silver, take it up with the governing body who awarded it to her.

August 6, 2012 at 9:07 pm
(6) Rob says:

She was actually quoting somebody in that tweet and saying thanks for the info, but good job being a ****bag.

August 10, 2012 at 11:35 am
(7) daniel says:

Joseph, you’re an idiot who obviously has trouble reading. McKayla didn’t tweet that. It was a retweet from a fan of hers that was obviously trying to make her feel better about winning silver in a competition the whole world was expecting her to win gold in.

Please just shut up in the future on topics you’re clueless on.

August 12, 2012 at 8:18 am
(8) Chris says:

What a travesty, all that work to win a gold thats actually silver. To bad. Shame on the IOC.

August 12, 2012 at 3:41 pm
(9) Keith says:

Why don’teople just stop disrespecting any of the athletes, all I have to say is if you could do better do so but until you put in four plus years of training time effor sweat to achieve a goal that is internationally recognised the shut up and give them their dues, as far as I am concerned even the athletes who never got medal have achieved something special by just stepping up and pushing through any one who disagreed he all I have to say to you is PUT UP OR SHUT UP A**ess

August 13, 2012 at 12:43 pm
(10) Lucy says:

So then why do American athletics get taxed so high for Gold medals that are not pure gp;d?

August 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm
(11) Steve says:

WHAT!!! not gold?

August 23, 2012 at 12:14 am
(12) Beck says:

Lucy, I’m not positive, but they are more than likely taxed on the $25,000 prize they are awarded for first place by the IOC, not the medal itself.

February 10, 2014 at 6:36 am
(13) Jimmy 'The Shoe' Hawthorne says:

Gold medals not made from gold? It’s political correctness gone mad! What’s next? Chips made of cardboard? Beer made from apple juice? This would have never happened in my day! Someone ought to write to Mr Olympic about all this – set the man straight! This ’92.5% silver’ malarky only cheapens the whole ordeal! This is one corner cut too far I’m afraid.

What if Olympians want to redeem their medals at Cash4Gold? Or if they need to create a Catalytic convertor at short notice?

I say we postpone these Olympics until the people in charge get their game together.

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