What’s the Actual Worth of an Olympic Medal?

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics have commenced after being postponed for a year. Athletes from all over the world have gathered to participate in the competition in hopes of taking home a medal. It’s a win you can’t put a price on and will surely bring pride to the whole country, but for those curious minds, what’s the monetary value of these gold, silver, and bronze tokens?

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Medal Specification

There’s a uniquely designed medal for each Olympic game to reflect the host country’s culture. Since each design varies, so will the weight and metal composition. Japan’s design is “intended to symbolize diversity and represent a world where people who compete in sports and work hard are honored.” Gold medals are composed of more than 6 grams of gold plating on pure silver, silver medals are made of pure silver, and bronze medals are composed of red brass (95% copper and 5% zinc).

Why Aren’t First Place Medals Made from Pure Gold?

In the Olympic games held before 1904, athletes would only compete for silver and bronze medals. The only time the Olympics handed out solid gold medals to those who came in first was during the 1904, 1908, and 1912 games. A shortage during World War I made it impractical to keep up with the production, thus opting for gold-plated silver coins. This has been the case since then, according to the Guinness Book of Records.

The Monetary Value of an Olympic Gold Medal

If it’s based solely on the weight of the metals, Gold medals would be worth around $830, Silver medals around $450, and Bronze medals would be worth $2. But, of course, these are priceless for the athletes who trained hard to get them and are awarded an additional cash price valued at millions. In case an athlete wants to sell or auction off their medal, Money reports gold medals go anywhere between $20,000 and $50,000.


The value of an Olympic medal may not be worth its weight in gold, but it’s still a precious piece of metal for any athlete. It also serves as memorabilia and a reminder of their accomplishment.

ALSO READ: Hidilyn Diaz wins the Philippines’ first ever Olympic gold medal


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