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How Much Gold Is Actually IN an Olympic Gold Medal?

by J. Money on Thursday, August 2, 2012

Have you ever wondered that??  They LOOK big and shiny and all kinds of valuable (and not to mention extremely sentimental to all those who pick ‘em up ;)), but how much GOLD is actually in them?  Or is there none at all anymore?

I was wondering all about it last night while Olympic watching, and I literally wake up to an infographic in my email this morning telling me the whole story ;)  Now, I’m normally not a fan of posting up such trendy graphics these days (they kinda annoy me for some reason?), but this one just had my name all over it.  Look at how it’s all changed over time!! And look at all that SILVER in them! Haha… I wonder how much silver is in the silver coins then? ;)

Olympic Gold Coins

This also makes me wonder if you could ever find any of these up for sale or at auction anywhere in the world ;)  Actually, let me check eBay real quick… oh jeez, there are a TON of gold medals on there but they’re all replicas!!  And WOW do people put things up there fast – there’s photos and all kinds of stuff on there from events that literally just happened last night!  Crazy…

(Update: OMG I’m an idiot – I just looked at the bottom of that graphic and saw that they literally included auction prices in the past!! Ahahahaha… Guess I was on to something ;))

Anyways, now you know the answer to the “how much gold” question shall you ever be at a cocktail party and wanna impress someone good looking ;) It sucks the amounts have dwindled over the years, but I reckon that’s the least of the concerns to anyone who’ve achieved one of them before (or 19, for that matter). If they ever have one for beer drinking I’ll let you know what they feel like! :)

GO TEAM USA!!!

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(Going for Gold Olympic Poster by Lear Capital Gold)


{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lance @ Money Life and More August 2, 2012 at 7:09 am

Haha if they have one for beer drinking the games will have riots from the people having so much fun! Hopefully you wouldn’t get alcohol poisoning :)

I think I’ve seen an Olympic medal sold on pawn stars or a similar show once but can’t remember if it was real or some odd replica or template or something.

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2 William @ Drop Dead Money August 2, 2012 at 8:36 am

I never considered these as an investment vehicle. Even if it’s not solid gold, the silver content still looks good. What do I need to do to get, say, 20 of them? That ought to do for a start to the new precious metals investment portfolio, what do you think? :)

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3 Jennifer G. August 2, 2012 at 9:12 am

Evander Holyfield is auctioning off his bronze medal in November.

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4 Brian August 2, 2012 at 9:18 am

I enjoy the fact that winning an Olympic gold medal will get you a tax bill from the IRS. I mean I know the cash award the get from the USOC is technically income, but come on!

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5 J. Money August 2, 2012 at 9:56 am

@Lance @ Money Life and More – Oh yeah!! I totally bet the Pawn Stars crew have come across one before. I haven’t seen that episode yet, but at the rate I’ve been watching them every night I’m sure I will soon!
@William @ Drop Dead Money – I think you’d be on to something there ;) Or you can just pick up replicas made of 100% gold too! That would be a nice start :)
@Jennifer G. – Really???? Oh man, I bet that bad boy would bring in some CRAZY amount of cash!
@Brian – Are you serious?? Man… that’s F’d up… technically yeah it’s totally “money” but still, come on now…

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6 K @ Get Worth August 2, 2012 at 10:01 am

That makes around $188,000 worth of metal in all the golds that will be given out. Now you have me wondering how much it costs to actually make them.

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7 William @ Drop Dead Money August 2, 2012 at 10:04 am

@Brian – if the athlete can deduct the expenses incurred to obtain that medal, that’d be the sweetest tax write-off of all, because they spend fortunes for their training, etc. And if the IRS taxes them on the income from the practices, then the practices HAVE to be deductible. Any tax lawyers in the gallery to confirm? :)

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8 maria@moneyprinciple August 2, 2012 at 10:34 am

Apparently very little’ gold that is! This makes me think though – how important this is for the athletes? And reminds me that when I friend mentioned that a contest I was part of is too little money my argument is that the point in winning it is not for the immediate gain but for what the win brings with it.

How are you doing and how is Little J$?

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9 Budget & the Beach August 2, 2012 at 11:05 am

The could hand me plastic for all I can-how rare to say you actually won a gold medal in the Olympics?!? I would have never guessed they varied in size over the years.

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10 Joe @ Retire By 40 August 2, 2012 at 11:15 am

Cool. I was wondering how much the gold medal cost. The auction price is not too bad. I would have a hard time saying no to $300,000. :)

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11 Ornella @ Moneylicious August 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm

My friend and I were just talking about this last night. I told her that the medal is not made out of pure gold and that’s why it doesn’t cost much. It’s more sentimental than they actual worth.

Silver is coming up in price!

cool infographic!

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12 Em August 2, 2012 at 3:04 pm

I was just having this discussion with my brother in law. I suppose with that graph I win the discussion because my thought is the metal itself isn’t worth much since its not solid (he thought it was.) But of course its worth what someone will pay for it to say they have an Olympians gold medal.

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13 J. Money August 2, 2012 at 4:51 pm

@K @ Get Worth – Woah, that’s pretty cool! Yeah, I’d be interested in learning more about how much it costs to make them, and WHO does it all, too. Would be pretty cool to nab the Olympics as a client :)
@William @ Drop Dead Money – Oh, I’m sure they already write all that stuff off if they make any sort of money off it outside the Olympics :) You can be a small business in yourself, yeah?
@maria@moneyprinciple – Oh man, yeah these athletes bring home TONS more than just the medals! Advertising deals, free stuff all over from people trying to woo them, you name it. It’s win-win all around! (Baby and Daddy are doing well!! Slowly getting adjusted and enjoying their time being spent together :))
@Budget & the Beach – Right? That’s the least of their thoughts going through their heads when winning :)
@Joe @ Retire By 40 – Haha… I know. And if not, your kids or grandkids certainly wouldn’t have a hard time cashing in for that either ;)
@Ornella @ Moneylicious – YUP! It means more than just the physical metals in it! And I’m loving silver these days! Totally want to pick some more up, myself :)
@Em – For sure – you could sell those bad boys for TONS no doubt about it.

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14 Jennifer Lynn @ Broke-Ass Mommy August 2, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Ohh, boo. Clearly those suckers should consist of a full 1 oz of gold for our finest of athletes. ; )

Great chart, J, thanks for enlightening us (of what cheapskates the manufacturers of Olympic medals are!!!) ; P

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15 DebtsnTaxes August 2, 2012 at 11:09 pm

When I was watching the Olympics the other day (or maybe I read it online) they said that Americans make $25,000 if they win a Gold medal, $15,000 for a Silver, and $10,000 for a bronze. Of course they make a crapload more with endorsement deals afterwards.

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16 Gekko August 3, 2012 at 2:03 am

Yesterday as I was watching Michael Phelps swim for gold i found out that the man won 8 gold medals at Olypmics Games in Beijing in 2008, 6 gold medals at Olympics Games in Athens and probabaly 2 gold medals at London. A very rich man :)

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17 Aloysa @ My Broken Coin August 3, 2012 at 10:46 am

Very interesting to see the progression in size. Dollar value, not so much. And this fact really surprised me. I thought that a golden medal would be worth so much more.

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18 J. Money August 3, 2012 at 1:43 pm

@Jennifer Lynn @ Broke-Ass Mommy – Haha… right?
@DebtsnTaxes – Wow, well that’s nice!! I’ve actually heard that about other countries too, like those who don’t win much. Their winners get a TON of VIP treatment!
@Gekko – In more ways than one :)
@Aloysa @ My Broken Coin – Yeah, same here… though I guess they ARE worth more if they ever go on the market. They’re only technically cheaper cuz of the gold weight and all that.

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19 DebtsnTaxes August 4, 2012 at 12:20 am

This is an article that has a couple of the countries payouts. Suprisingly in first place is a country that is financially in trouble, Italy. They pay out $182,400 for a gold medal. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-olympic-medal-winners-bonuses-170523656.html

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20 J. Money August 4, 2012 at 3:44 pm

oh wow, that’s pretty crazy… gonna go over and check it out, thx! :)

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21 Melissa@LittleHouseInTheValley August 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm

So, the medals are ony gold plated and then you have to pay taxes on them too. Sure isn’t like the old days, but of course, the Olympians from 1912 probably didn’t make a fortune hawking McDonald’s!

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22 J. Money August 6, 2012 at 10:29 am

Haha you got that straight. A lot of these guys and girls out there are making MILLIONS from all their glory, and I commend them on it! Gotta ride out the success as long as you can, right?

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