Winning the Olympic gold medal is by far and away the dream of every athlete around the world and possibly except for the FIFA World Cup, no other global sport competition comes anywhere close to it in terms of the grandeur, kudos and sense of achievement that taking home the Olympic gold brings with it.

Gold medals awarded prior to the 1912 Games were pure 24 karat, but since then, the ‘gold’ medal is in fact a minimum 92.5% silver round gilded with 6 grams of gold plating. Alas, when looking at the bullion content alone, the Olympic gold medal is therefore not worth as much as meets the eye.

## How Much Does an Olympic Gold Medal Weigh?

For example, amongst the heaviest medals every created for the Games were the gold and silver medals awarded at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City which measured 85mm in diameter, 10mm in thickness and weighed in at just over a whopping 18 ounces a piece.

Assuming 92.5% silver content and a silver price of \$30 an ounce, this calculates to:
18 toz * \$30 * .925 purity = \$500

Add to this 6 grams (0.193 troy ounces) of gold which at \$1800 an ounce calculates to:
0.193 toz * \$1800 = \$347

Given these estimates, the bullion value of a 2002 Winter Olympic gold medal is therefore approximately \$847.

(Use the real-time ‘How Much is Gold Worth‘ and ‘How Much is Silver Worth‘ calculators to figure out the exact value at today’s spot prices).

## How Much was a Solid Gold Medal Worth

As mentioned earlier, the last time solid gold medals were awarded was in 1912 at the Stockholm Games. These measured 33.4mm wide, a miniscule 1.5mm thick and weighed in at 24g (0.77 toz). At \$1800 a troy ounce, on bullion content alone these would be worth:
0.77 toz * \$1800 = \$1386

## London 2012 Olympic Games Gold Medals

The 2012 London Summer Olympic Games will be issuing gold medals that weigh in at 400g (12.86 toz) or the equivalent of having a large tin of baked beans hanging round your neck!

Assuming 92.5% silver content and a silver price of \$30 an ounce, this calculates to:

12.86 toz * \$30 * .925 purity = \$357

Add to this 6 grams (0.193 troy ounces) of gold which at \$1800 an ounce calculates to:

12.86 toz * \$1800 = \$347

and you get a total worth of \$704.

## How Much is Olympic Gold Really Worth

Of course, the real worth of Olympic gold is hardly in the physical metal content of the medal but rather in the sense of achievement, the accomplishment of the human spirit, the reward for years spent in training and sacrifice and…the sponsorship and endorsement deals.

Britain’s Sir Chris Hoy for example who pedalled his way to three golds in Beijing, not only now has lucrative deals from Kellogg’s, Harrods, Highland Spring, Adidas and ScottishPower Renewables but also recieved a knighthood! Swimmer Rebecca Adlington, who said after Bejing that all she wanted was to buy a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes, could follow in the footsteps of Imelda Marcos should she strike double gold again.

Vice-president Clifford Bloxham of leading sponsorship agency Octagon was quoted as saying, “Seven or eight Team GB athletes will be able to command big endorsements after 2012, earning sums on a par with top British stars like Andy Murray and Jenson Button.”

So how much is an Olympic gold medal really worth? About a couple of million dollars.

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