The Olympic medals presented at the London 2012 Olympics are not only valuable in terms of athlete glory, they also happen to be the most expensive Olympic medals in history.
The eight tonnes of gold, silver and copper sourced from mines in Mongolia and Utah which are now under security watch at the Tower of London represent the largest-ever haul used to make Olympic medals, according to AFP.
“The medals arrived at the tower on July 2, and we will keep them under tight security,” Historic Royal Palaces spokesperson Tracey Sands stated.
The 4,700 medals produced for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics are being guarded alongside Britain’s crown jewels until they are presented on the podium.
“For centuries the Tower of London has protected some of this country’s greatest treasures so there can be no better sanctuary for the 2012 medals – the most precious possession any athlete could hope to possess,” London Mayor Boris Johnson stated.
But while a gold medal represents the shining pinnacle of sporting achievement to an athlete, the gold medals presented at the London 2012 Olympics are not actually pure gold.
Each gold medal, which weighs around 410 grams, contains only six grams of gold – 1.34 per cent of its weight. The remainder of its composition is silver compound (92.5 per cent) and copper.
But even so, the recent gold and silver booms, coupled with the fact that the size of the medals (85 millimetres in diameter and seven millimetres in thickness) make them the heaviest ever struck for the Summer Olympics, have made the London 2012 Olympic Games medals the most expensive in Olympic history.
British artist David Watkins designed the London 2012 Olympic medals, which depict Nike, the Greek goddess of victory.
The reverse side of the medals feature the London 2012 Olympic Games logo in front of a star motif, representing the spirit and tradition of the Olympics, and the River Thames, representing the city of London.
“If there’s the slightest blemish, we reject them,” said Fergus Feeney, programme director at the Royal Mint, which produces Britain’s currency and made the Olympic medals.View Comments