Rio 2016 just entered its final week, but we’ve already seen dozens of participants proudly standing in front of the whole world with gold medals glistening around their necks. It’s impossible to put a price tag on all the time and effort these superb athletes put into obtaining them, but if it was what would be the monetary value of an Olympic medal? Could you hold one in your hands if you wanted to and would a magnificent €123.700.000 SuperEnaLotto jackpot be enough to make that dream come true?
Even though sentimental value of Olympic medal can’t be expressed through numbers, it’s not hard to calculate how much money goes into making one. According to Forbes, the scarp value of gold medal at this year’s Olympics is approximately $564 – until 1912 medals were made of solid gold, but today they must contain at least 6 grams of pure gold and are mostly made of sterling silver.
The other way to estimate a value of gold medals is looking at the prices they reach at auctions, which range from $10.000 to over $1.000.000, depending on how old they are and who won them. Certain athletes command higher-value medals – the perfect example is the most valuable Olympic medal ever sold, Jesse Owens’s gold from 1936 which reached a $1.500.000 price. According to Robert Livingston from Boston auction house RR Auction, rarity of the medal also plays an important role when it comes to fetching the price – medals from the Winter Olympics tend to be more expensive, because there are less of them.
Every Olympics medal comes with extra benefits for its new owner. Cash prices are handed out to each winner – $25.000 for gold medallists, $15.000 for silver and $10.000 for bronze. This seems paltry compared to all the endorsement deals that can turn an Olympic winner into an instant millionaire in a blink of an eye if they play their cards right.