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How Much Is an Olympic Gold Medal Worth?

Is a Gold Medal Worth Its Weight in Gold?

The Olympic gold medal is 92.5% silver that is plated with gold.

DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert A. Whitehead

Question: How Much Is an Olympic Gold Medal Worth?

The Olympic gold medal is extremely valuable, both in terms of its precious metal value and its historic value. Here's a look at how much the Olympic gold medal is worth today.

Answer: Olympic gold medals haven't been made from solid gold since the 1912 Stockholm Games, yet they remain valuable in terms of their metal content because they are 92.5% silver (sterling silver), plated with at least 6 mm of 24k or solid gold. The remaining 7.5% is copper.

Value of the Olympic Gold Medal

The composition of the Olympic medals is controlled so that the value of modern medals does not vary too much from one set of games to the next. The estimated value of a gold medal awarded at the 2012 Summer Olympics was \$620.82 (as of August 1, 2012, when the medals were being handed out). Each gold medal contains 6 grams of gold, valued at \$302.12, and 394 grams of sterling silver, valued at \$318.70. The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics medals are the same diameter as the 2012 medals (100 mm), but the value of silver and gold has changed over time. The 2014 Winter Olympics medals are worth around \$550 in precious metals.

Comparison of Gold Medal Values

The gold medals awarded at the 2012 Summer Olympics were extremely heaving, weighing in at 400 grams each. Yet, some earlier medals are worth much more because they contained more gold. For example, the 1912 Stockholm Olympics gold medals (solid gold) would be worth \$1207.86. The gold medals from the 1900 Paris games would be worth \$2667.36.

Worth More Than Its Gold

Gold medals are not worth their weight in gold, but they do command high prices when placed up for auction, typically exceeding the value of the metal. For example, a gold medal awarded to the 1980 Olympic men's hockey team garnered a bid in excess of \$310,000.

Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.