Olympic gold medals are well-known symbols of sporting achievement, and a source of pride and honour to both the individual, and the home countries of winning medallists. It’s interesting to note, however, that the awarding of gold medals hasn’t been around since the start of the Olympic Games.

Read on to find out more interest facts about Olympic gold medals.

Olympic Gold Medal Facts

How the Awards System Has Changed

When the Olympic Games began in 1896, the first place winner would have been awarded an olive wreath and silver medal. This changed at the 1904 Summer Olympic Games at St Louis when gold, silver and bronze medals were first introduced.

Are Gold Medals Made of Solid Gold?

Gold medals used to be solid gold. However, the last awarded solid gold medals were handed out at the 1912 Stockholm Summer Olympic Games.

What Are Gold Medals Made from Now?

The current requirements for Olympic Gold Medals states that they must contain at least 6 grams of gold and should be made up of 92.5% silver.

Are Gold Medals Still Valuable?

In 1996, a Ukrainian boxer named Wladimir Klitschko auctioned off his Olympic Gold Medal to raise money for a children’s charity. The medal was purchased for $1 million, however, the buyer then returned the medal to Klitschko out of respect for him and his family.

In terms of value, it depends on how you choose to measure ‘value’. The scrap value, which would simply consider the market-value of the metal if it were melted down will be quite different to the collector value of a particularly significant individual medal.

Why Do Winners Bite the Medals?

The images we sometimes see of Olympic gold medal winners biting their medals is derived from an ancient practice, in which people used to bite gold, specifically coins, to test their authenticity and purity.

Is There a Difference Between Summer and Winter Olympic Gold Medals?

Generally, the medals that are awarded at the Winter Olympic Games tend to be heavier, thicker and larger than those awarded at the Summer Olympic Games.

Selling Your Gold

If you have any Olympic Gold Medals lying around gathering dust (and frankly, who doesn’t?!), or any other gold items you wish to sell, then The Manchester Gold Exchange can help! We buy all types of gold at a competitive rate and use the latest in technology to analyses and weigh your items.

Find out more about our gold selling process, or get in touch if you have any further questions, you can call us on 0161 273 2511.