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Are Olympic Gold Medals Really Made of Gold?

By June 28, 2012

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olympic gold medalsAre Olympic gold medals made of gold? Yes, but they haven't been solid gold for almost a century. The medals are designed by the Olympics Committee in each host city, but designers must follow a few minimum guidelines to create acceptable medals:

  • all medals must be at least 60mm in diameter and 3mm thick
  • silver medals must be made from 92.5 percent silver
  • gold medals must be plated with at least six grams of gold.

Some medals for past games have been larger, like the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. The gold and silver medals awarded at those games were the heaviest ever created, measuring 85mm in diameter, 10mm in depth and weighing in at 20 ounces.

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Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

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