Good Question: What's An Olympic Gold Medal Really Worth?

By: Jeff Herndon Email
By: Jeff Herndon Email

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tonight on Good Question, now that the Olympics are over, the gold-medal-winning athletes can start cashing in on their success. But what if they want to cash in on their gold medal?

Take away the sentimental and historic value; in dollars and cents, what’s a gold medal really worth?

Good question.

Olympic gold medalist and KU junior Diamond Dixon shows off her prize from the London Games. There is really no way to determine the true value of a gold medal. To the athletes who wear one, it’s priceless. But for the sake of this good question, and my curiosity, what’s the street value of an Olympic gold medal?

First of all, the big, hulking gold medals are actually more silver than anything, almost 93 percent. Less than 2 percent of the medal is gold, about 6 grams of 24 karat. So in total, it’s about $645.

Second place in the Olympics will cost you about half. A silver is worth about $330.

Take home a bronze, and the street value of your medal takes a big hit. Made up of mostly copper, some people have compared them to a giant penny. It’s more like 500 pennies; it’s worth about $5.

If you have a good question, send it to me at or find me on Twitter at I’ll answer your good question every Thursday on KAKE News at 10.

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