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Olympic medals' monetary value may shock you

Monday, July 30, 2012 | 11:04 AM    

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LONDON, England – The actual monetary value of an Olympic medal, at least for the third place finishers at London 2012, is astonishingly low.

The bronze medals awarded at these games have been valued at just £3 ($4.71).

Third place finishers are being given medals made up of 97 per cent copper, 2.5 per cent zinc and 0.5 per cent tin, which according to London’s Daily Mail newspaper makes them worth £3 at current prices.

“Copper is not a particularly valuable metal,” jewellery expert Dan Cohen said in a telephone interview with Yahoo Sports.

“Copper prices have gone up recently though, so much so that people have been stealing brass cables and so on. One and two pence pieces in the United Kingdom are no longer made of copper, because they would be more valuable if they were melted down.”

London 2012 medals designed by artist David Watkins, weigh just less than one pound and at three inches across are the biggest ever awarded at a Summer Olympics. 

4,700 of them will be handed out over the course of the event.

The gold and silver medals, naturally, have a higher value. A gold medal, which is only one per cent gold, is worth US$644. The rest made up of silver and copper. 

The silver medals are worth about half as much.

Such prices are effectively irrelevant though, as any Olympic medal that comes on the collectors market can generate large sums of cash from memorabilia hoarders.

Related story:

Olympic medals' monetary value may shock you

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