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    Olympic medal worth its weight in gold

    Jul 31, 2012
    The International Olympic Committee ruling provides that the gold medal should have at least six grams of pure gold.

    IT has been 88 years since the country first launched its quest for Olympic gold and the top prize has been elusive. But exactly just how much is that precious metal worth?

    The time and effort spent in a four-year cycle is priceless and a podium place a huge reward, but a bronze medal in the 2012 London Games, which is actually mostly copper, is estimated to be priced just around £3, according to British media.

    The gold medal is actually 92.5 percent silver, with 6.16 percent copper and 1.34 percent gold, in compliance with the International Olympic Committee ruling.

    That would be worth around £410 by the Daily Mail’s assessment, which would be around P27,000—the price of a 4G mobile phone or a netbook. Silver is said to be worth around £210, or a little over P13,000, or just a little over a month’s salary of a minimum wage earner in the Philippines.

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    It was said that the 1912 Games in Stockholm were the last Olympics to hand out 100 percent gold medals. The Philippines missed out on that chance, having started joining the Olympics only in 1924 in Paris.

    Filipinos, however, haven’t scored the big prize.

    The medals in the 1996 Atlanta Games were said to be 181 grams in weight, 70 millimeters in diameter and five millimeters thick.

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    Had silver medalist Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco beaten Bulgaria’s Daniel Petrov Bohzilov in that Summer Olympics, the true gold in that gold medal would be roughly P14,000 in today’s gold market price, or just about the price of a set of a boxer's fight gear.

    But of course, it is really much more than just the value of the gold content.

    Ukrainian heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko’s gold from the Atlanta Games fetched $1 million in an auction in March this year for the Klitschko Brothers Foundation for children’s sports.

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    Recently, a set of three medals—gold, silver, and bronze—won by British athletes in the 1908 London Games fetched £17,000 at an auction, while many others have been sold in various ways, including on eBay.

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    The International Olympic Committee ruling provides that the gold medal should have at least six grams of pure gold.
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