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Are Olympic gold medals really made of gold? Here's all you need to know

12:35 PM Aug 02, 2021 | Anwesha Mitra

With the Tokyo Olympics 2020 taking up a significant portion of our attention in recent days, phrases such as 'go for gold' and have become a part of our daily social media routine. But as billions around the world remain riveted by the medal tally, let us take a look at what goes into making an Olympic medal.

Interestingly enough, the Olympic silver medal may be the only one that is true to it's name. The gold medal, by comparison is believed to contain 6.7 grams of gold with around 98.8% of the medal being silver. The bronze medal, in case you were wondering is made up of 95% copper and 5% zinc.

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And while one cannot really put a value on winning an Olympic Gold medal, the costs might be far less than you think. According to a BBC report quoting experts, it is estimated that the gold medal that is being presented to athletes this year is worth around Rs. 55,000.

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As per the International Olympic Committee regulations, the medals must feature Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, in front of the Panathinaikos Stadium. The official name of the Games as well as the Olympic five rings symbol must also be emblazoned on each medal.


"Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded to the top finishers in every event at the Olympic Games - a tradition that began at the St. Louis 1904 Olympic Games," the official website of the Games explains. The design changes every year, with the medals being the responsibility of the host city's organizing committee.

The Tokyo Olympics incidentally is the first time that citizens were involved in the production of medals and the medals were made using recycled metals. Approximately 5,000 medals were produced from small electronic devices that were contributed by people all over Japan in what had been dubbed the 'Tokyo 2020 Medal Project'. The organisers had held a competition that was open to professional designers and design students in order to come up with a range of designs for the medals.

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