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What’s In A Gold Medal

team gb gold medal

As Team GB charges to second place in the medals table, the nation has been treated to image after image of medal ceremonies.

An Olympic medal is the crowning achievement for any athlete during their career – so here at Engravers Guild, we thought you might be interested to know why exactly these Olympic medals are so special.

To start with the value… it’s worth noting that gold medals are not solid gold. Each medal awarded to the winner in Rio is made of sterling silver, and plated with six grams of 24 carat gold.

Based on current values of gold and silver, each gold medal is worth approximately £431. Should it have been entirely gold, the value would be nearer £17,000.

No surprise that it is not since 1912, when the Games were in Sweden, were the winners’ medals made this way.

But of course, the real value of any medal is what it represents. And the engraving designs are where the real significance comes through – for they depict victory.

The reverse of the award remains unchanged since the Athens Olympics in 2004, when Greek couture jeweller Elena Votsi chose Nike, the winged goddess of victory, to be carved on the back.

And for Rio, engraving makes the medals even more personal, with the name of the event for which the medal was won being engraved by laser along the outside edge.

The story behind the medals is important as well. Rio strived to deliver the most sustainable Games, and the silver used has been recycled from household items, while the gold is free from mercury.

At Engravers Guild, we take the same approach to our personalised gifts and personalised cufflinks. Each item we despatch has been individually engraved, with the bespoke inscription and gift card belying the story behind the present.