Precious Olympic Medals


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This presentation will cover some cool factoids about Olympic medal history and design - as related to precious metals. Learn what each medal represents, how much gold is in a gold medal, and more.

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Precious Olympic Medals

  1. 1. Precious Olympic Medals Facts about Olympic medal history and design
  2. 2. The Prestige of Olympic Medals • The Olympic medals are perhaps the most iconic examples of precious metals being used as a direct representation of prestige and achievement. • This presentation will cover some cool factoids about the metals that make up these medals.
  3. 3. Why Precious Metals? • The common misconception is that gold, silver, and bronze medals are awarded at the Olympics for first, second and third places because each position corresponds with the value of each precious metal. • The content of each medal actually corresponds to the “Ages of Man” in Greek mythology. • The Ages of Man describe distinct time periods in the history of mankind.
  4. 4. The Ages of Man Golden Age: man lived under the god Chronos with a very heavenly lifestyle – plentiful food, long lives, and peaceful times. Silver Age: men lived under the god Zeus. Though they still lived long lives, they fought amongst themselves and were subjugated by their gods, rather than invited to walk among them. Bronze Age: men were hardened and violent – waging wars with bronze tools.
  5. 5. The First Olympic Medals Although the design for Olympic medals changes often, their precious metal composition (as established by the IOC) has remained pretty consistent since after the 1912 games. • Gold and silver medals were awarded starting in 1896. • Bronze medals were introduced to the awards ceremony in 1904.
  6. 6. The Metals in the Medals When new medals are cast for each Olympics, they are made with a specific metal content. • Gold Medal: 550 grams of silver (at least 925–1000 grade) plated with 6 grams of pure gold • Silver Medal: 550 grams of silver (at least 925–1000 grade) • Bronze Medal: Copper alloyed with tin and zinc
  7. 7. The Gold/Silver Medal • As you probably noticed, gold medals are actually almost 1% gold. But, it’s a practical construction. • Considering the number of medals awarded, the expense of creating solid gold medals could become astronomical. • 550 grams of gold would be smaller that the same amount of silver. Since the sizes would no longer match, either gold medals would need to be bigger (increasing cost, and making them quite heavy) or the size of the silver and bronze medals would need to shrink.
  8. 8. Medal Values • During the most recent Olympics (2012 in London), the value of the precious metal content for each Olympic medal was approximately: • Gold Medal: $800 • Silver Medal: $500 • Bronze Medal: $60 • Of course, the precious metal value can’t hold a candle to the intrinsic value!
  9. 9. About MGS Manhattan Gold & Silver (MGS) is a precious metals refiner that has been based in Manhattan’s historic Diamond District since 1985. We are a B2B company that buys and recycles precious metal scraps that accumulate in other businesses. We serve: • • • • • • • • Jewelers Pawnbrokers Dentists The industrial sector Antique dealers Machinists Domestic mining And more! • MGS also creates charts, calculators, and other online tools for our customers to use. • Try our Precious Metals Prices app, which lets you monitor the real-time precious metals market situation from anywhere, right from your iPhone, iPad, or Android device.
  10. 10. Recycle your Precious Metals for Profit • MGS accepts gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. • Payouts are based on the London Fixing. • Up to 99% payout (among the highest in the US) • Up to 98.5% for gold brought in for hand testing. • Not in NYC? Ship us your precious metals using our Ship & Sell service which offers: • Same day wired payment (once lot is received) • Discounted, insured shipping • Payout calculator
  11. 11. Connect with MGS • For amazing facts, history and news, read our gold and precious metals blog. • Join the conversation about precious metals on the MGS page on Facebook. • Follow gold, silver, and other precious metal trends at the MGS Twitter account. • Circle MGS on Google+ to hear our latest updates. • If you do business with us, connect with us on the MGS LinkedIn page. • To see precious metal melting and refinement in action, visit the MGS YouTube channel.