If someone told you the gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics, underway right now, weren’t gold, would you believe them?


“Gold medals are made out of sweat, blood and tears and effort in the gym every day,” said Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas.


Gabby is half correct.


The medals given to the world’s best athletes this year are a fraction of what they once were. To make them entirely out of gold would cost over $22,000 a medal, a practice that stopped after the 1912 Olympics. By taking silver medals and plating them with small amounts of gold, the price of production of current gold medals is closer to $600. Athletes do not seem to mind. During the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics, hockey legend Wayne Gretzky said “the gold medal is everything.”

Each of the Olympic gold medals are covered with six grams of gold (the minimum required by the International Olympic Committee) with 99.9 percent purity. The remaining 494 grams is made of silver with 92.5 percent purity (the standard for sterling silver), according to the Mint of Brazil.

The Rio Olympics had a total of 2,488 medals produced (812 gold, 812 silver and 864 bronze) by the Mint of Brazil. All of the medals are the same size and weight, with a diameter of 85 millimeters and a weight of 500 grams, making them the heaviest medals in the history of the Summer Olympics and tied for the largest medal in all Summer games.

There is no way to put a measurable dollar’s  worth on an Olympic gold medal.

Actually, there might be.

Prices range varies depending on who won it and even what sport. A “common” gold medal-think water polo or archery, with a non-famous athlete behind it, sells for about 10,000.

Rarer, older medals can go steeper in price.

Ukrainian boxer, Wladimir Klitschko put his gold medal up for auction four years ago for a cool one million dollars. One of Jesse Owen’s gold medals from the 1936 Berlin Games was sold for 1.47 million dollars three years ago. One of the “Miracle on Ice” gold medals was expected to sell for 1.5 million this past summer but failed to do so at auction. Michael Phelps, who announced retirement after winning his 23rd gold medal in Rio, could sell some medals in the future, although with his endorsement list, he seems to be in good shape.

Although gold medals are not truly gold, the story of winning each one makes it nearly impossible to give a real money value on them. If you are willing to look past the sentimental value, GoldBuyerOK is the best place to go to sell your gold.