If you win a medal – be it gold, silver, or bronze – they are pretty much priceless.
Former British heptathlete Kelly Sotherton, who won bronze in the heptathlon in Athens in 2004 and another in Beijing in 2008 for the 4 x 400 meter relay, told CNN Sport that her medals were a reminder of how her hard work went have paid off their stake.
“I would never sell my medals,” Sotherton told CNN Sport on Friday. “You mean a lot.”
Sotherton said she keeps her medals accessible instead of hanging them in a frame.
“I think it’s nice to put them on sometimes,” she added.
The design of the medals changes for each game and this time they are the work of Junichi Kawanishi.
Each of the gold, silver and bronze medals are 85 millimeters in diameter and 7.7 mm to 12.1 mm thick.
The gold medal consists of gold-plated pure silver, with around 6 grams of gold for a total weight of 556 grams.
The silver medal is made of pure silver and weighs around 550 grams, while the bronze medal weighs around 450 grams and is actually made up of 95% copper and 5% zinc.
At today’s prices, this means that the gold medal would be worth about $ 800 if you melted it down, while the silver medal would be worth about $ 450 and the bronze would be worth about $ 5.
Earlier this month, a winners’ medal from the Athens Olympic Games in 1896 was auctioned for US $ 180,000, the gold medal of Cuban shooter Leuris Pupo from the London 2012 Olympics fetched US $ 73,200 and the gold medal of his compatriot Iván Pedroso from Sydney 2000 went for $ 71,335. All three were sold at the Boston RR Auction.
At the Games of 1896 – the first modern Olympic Games – the winners received silver medals and the runners-up received bronze, according to the RR auction.
But those prices pale into insignificance alongside the $ 1.46 million paid for Jesse Owens’ gold medal from the 1936 Berlin Olympics at auction in 2013.
This medal is considered one of the most important in the history of the Olympic Games and is one of four that Owens, a black American, won at the 1936 Game and spoiled Adolf Hitler’s proposed showcase of Aryan supremacy.
Olympians tend to hold onto their medals won, Richard Gladdle of Baldwin’s London auction house said CNN Sport on Thursday.
“They are very rarely put up for sale,” Gladdle told CNN Sport on Friday.
When they’re auctioned off, it’s usually for philanthropic reasons, Gladdle added.
The only Olympic medal Baldwin sold was a gold medal from 1912, the last year it was made from gold.