The value of an Olympic gold medal might come as a surprise to you.
The games began yesterday and will continue until Feb. 25. The 2018 Winter Games is the first to surpass 100 medal events with 102 events across 15 sports. Four new disciplines in existing sports, including big air snowboarding, mixed doubles curling, mass start speed skating, and mixed team alpine skiing, were introduced to this year’s Olympic program.
“As a precious metals wholesaler, we get this question of value every two years or so when the Olympic Games come around,” said Terry Hanlon, president of Dillon Gage Metals, one of the world’s largest precious metals wholesale firms. “First and foremost, the first place medals aren’t solid gold but rather silver with gold plating. If they were 100 percent pure, they’d be worth quite a bit and would obviously be much heavier too.”
MEDALS CREATED BY S.K. DESIGNER
The 2018 Pyeongchang medals—created by South Korean designer Lee Suk-woo—offer multiple tributes to the country’s history and incorporate Hangeul, the Korean alphabet, into the designs.
The gold medal, each of which is actually comprised of 99.9 percent silver with six grams of plated gold, weighs 586 grams. The silver medal weighs 580 grams, and the bronze weighs 493 grams.
In calculating a gold medal’s worth, the first part of the equation includes its composition of 99.9 percent silver and weight of 580 grams. It takes 31.1033 grams to equal a Troy ounce. The current price of silver is trading at about $17 USD, so it follows the silver portion of the gold medal is worth about $318 USD.
Next, the six grams of plated gold are added in. At current prices, an ounce of gold is trading at about $1,336 USD, so it follows the gold portion is worth about $258.50 USD.
The combined value of the gold and silver composition in a Pyeongchang Winter Olympics gold medal is about $577 USD (about $728 Cdn.).