How much do you think an Olympic medal is worth? $10,000? $20,000? You might be surprised. Forget about the sweat, dedication, and work that was put into a medal and just think about the actual cost of the metal and ribbon. That number comes out a lot lower.
The bronze medal is valued at about £3 or about $4.70 at current exchange rates. Yep, your last Big Mac cost more than a bronze medal at the Olympics.
Here is the cost and overview of all the London 2012 medals:
- Bronze - $4.71 - 97 percent copper, 2.5 percent zinc, and 0.5 percent tin
- Silver - $322 - 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper
- Gold - $644 - 92.5 percent silver, 1.34 percent gold, and 6.16 percent copper
We already talked about the different ways that the Olympic medal count could be measured, but I think we should add a dollar amount to the category as well.
The London medals are the biggest medals ever handed out at the Olympics, and weigh almost a pound. It's a good thing for the London coffers that they didn't use solid gold, because that would have been a $22,000 gold medal.
For comparison, the 1912 Stockholm, Sweden summer Olympics had the last medals made out of pure gold. Back in 1912, that medal cost was about $16. If you factor in inflation it still would have only been about $350 in today's money. Gold in 1912 was valued at around $19 an ounce, and is now valued at about $1,600. (Side note - it's time for me to get my money out of tech stocks, and into gold).
Don't worry though, you can get your very own "First-class Quality" medal on eBay for only $200. Eat your heart out, Michael Phelps.