Chemistry

What are Olympic medals made of?

medals

During the Olympic games, athletes who come first, second and third place get awarded a medal. They maybe called Gold, Silver and Bronze. But is that actually what they’re made of?

  • Gold
    Actually made of silver (at least .925 grade) which is then covered with 6 grams of pure gold. The last solid Gold medal was handed out in 1912.
  • Silver
    Same as the Gold medal, but without the gold covering!
  • Bronze
    Mostly made from copper with some tin and zinc. A bronze medal’s materials cost less than a couple of quid!

However, for all the athletes who received a Gold medal at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, their medals also contained a piece of the meteorite that struck the Russian city of Chelyabinsk a year earlier!

According to a BBC News article, the different medals also have vastly different values – due to what materials they’re made of. Gold medals are worth roughly $600, Silver medals half that at $300, and Bronze medals worth a measly $4.