How Much Is An Olympic Medal Really Worth

olympic medals According to this infographic, Olympic medals are minted by the country who is hosting the games at the time and their final design must be approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). But some people may wonder what they are actually worth and the answers may surprise you. For example, a bronze medal contains none of this metal whatsoever, instead it’s made almost entirely of copper, just a hint of zinc and a trace of tin. It’s value from a metal standpoint is less than $5 USD.

A gold medal on the other hand is comprised of mostly silver, contain just slightly over one percent gold, with a little bit of copper and would cash in for just over $700. Silver medals have a similar makeup to their more expensive cousins, but without the added gold, and ring in at about $330.

Scrap Metal on the Auction Block

The prices quoted above are how much a medal would be worth purely from a metal standpoint, but what would happen if they were sold at auction? A Boston-based auction company estimates a gold medal to be worth $10,000, silver at $8,000 and a bronze selling for around $5,000. But if you were to purchase one worn by a history-making, record-breaking athlete like Jesse Owens, it was sold for $1.47 million in 2013.

Medals Worth Millions

But the true wealth enjoyed by those bestowed with an Olympic medal come from commercial endorsements and other ways these star athletes achieved riches from their fame. We’ve yet to see how far the highest awarded athlete in history, record-breaking swimmer Michael Phelps will take his fame to a level of fortune, but check out some of these former Olympians:


  • Bruce Jenner, the “golden boy” of the seventies, got his face plastered on thousands of Wheaties cereal boxes and alongside the Kardashian family, his net worth is said to be over $100 million dollars today.


  • Shawn Johnson balanced her way to gold in 2008 on the beam and silvered in all-around gymnastics. Less than a year later, she went onto win the mirrored trophy on “Dancing With The Stars” and is said to be worth over $9 million.


  • Shaun White, the carrot-topped snowboarded used his Olympic fame to garner everything from commercial endorsements to video game inclusion and snowboard design to earn him several million dollars annually.

To see some other important facts and trivia about the value of these Olympic medals, check out this infographic. See how they’ve changed over the years from an olive branch, to a token slightly bigger than a US quarter and growing to a medal larger than a tennis ball in circumference.

Infographic source:

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