SEOUL, Sept. 21 (Korea Bizwire) – The Olympic medals given to first, second and third place finishers were unveiled today, a sign that the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang are now just around the corner.
The 586-gram gold, 580-gram silver and 493-gram bronze medals with their colorful lanyards dazzled spectators at the presentation event. Designer Lee Seok Woo’s idea to burnish the circumference of the medals with the Korean consonants (ㅍㅇㅊㅇㄷㅇㄱㅇㄹㄹㅁㅍㄱㅇㄱㅇㅇㄹㅍㄹ) that spell “Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Two Zero One Eight” was also met with great enthusiasm.
The weight of the gold medal and its value in particular has been drawing considerable attention, as it will be the heaviest medal awarded at any Olympics, winter or summer, in history. The previous record holder was the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics gold medal that weighed 576 grams.
Both the gold and silver medals are fashioned out of pure silver (99.9 percent purity). Per IOC (International Olympic Committee) stipulation, the gold medal is gilded with at least 6 grams of pure gold.
By making the assumption that gold medal has the required 6 grams of pure gold and performing a rough calculation using market rates for silver and gold on September 21 (580 grams of silver costs approximately 418,000 won, 6 grams of gold costs approximately 341,000), it can be concluded that the gold medal is worth nearly 760,000 won.
This would make the upcoming Olympics gold medal comparable in value to the 2012 London Olympics gold, which was valued at approximately 800,000 won using silver and gold market rates at the time.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that the medal doesn’t just come by itself, but with a lanyard for athletes to wear around their neck. With special embroidery and fine gauze fabric reportedly incorporated into the lanyard, the total cost of the medal may exceed 1 million won.
Of course, the practice of figuring out the market value for such prizes is little more than a fun exercise, as the true value of the medals is measured by the ordeals and triumph required to earn them, not by how many grams of rare metals they’re composed with. Even so, no one’s ever complained about being given too much gold and silver, have they?