We are now a 1/3 of the way through the 2014 Olympics, and the U.S. is holding their own in the medal count...but, how much is that GOLD MEDAL actually worth?
The "podium value" for the most prestigious amatuer award comes in at $566, not bad, but it's down 20% from the Gold Medals handed out in London in the summer of 2012 which were valued at $708.
Does Russian President Vladimir Putin have his thumb on the scale and skimping on the prize? No, the decline in value is due to the drop in gold and silver since it's record high in 2012. Actually the gold medal handed out in Sochi will go on record as one of largest in the history of the games at 531 grams, 100mm diameter and 10mm thickness. If in fact it was 100% gold it would be worth $21,478 (the last solid gold medals were handed out at the Stockholm Games in 1912, and their value today is $1,207.86)
So what makes up the Sochi Gold Medal? They are made up of primaraly silver - 525 grams with a 960 hallmark (the IOC only requires 925 hallmark), and 6 grams of 999 hallmark of gold.
For the Olympians that come in second, the 2014 Sochi Silver medal that they will be sporting contains, 525 grams of silver (960 hallmark) and their value stands at $323.
As for the bronze medalists, well, third place finishers might be able to purchase a Happy Meal with the podium value at $3.25. The bronze medal is made up of copper mixed with the elements to make bronze...zinc and tin, and sports a 460 hallmark.
Any medal would be awesome, it means you're one of the top three atheletes in the WORLD, and who can put a price on sentimentalism? A prime example of this is the gold medal that was awarded to the U.S. Hockey Team at the 1980 Winter Games at Lake Placid it pulled in a bid just over $310,000 at auction.