How Heavy Are Olympic Medals?

By Measurement Of TeamILast update - May 25, 2024I3 Min Read
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Summer Olympic games of 2024 is going to start in Paris on July this year. Now every sports enthusiast is curious about the gamee, the athletes, the winners, and of course the medals. These medals get a different design at each Olympic games. And with it their size, shape, and weight also changes. But how much do they change? A lot or little? What are these medals even made of? Are gold medals made of pure gold? Want answers now? Then let's dive in!

What are the medals made of? Are the gold medals real gold?

Photo Courtesy: Olympics

Let's answer the most asked question first. Are the gold medals real gold? Most of us, at least once, have wondered this. Well, yes, but not fully.

The Olympic gold medals are made of gold, but only partially. They only contain approximately 6 grams of pure gold and at least 92.5% silver. The only pure gold medals given in the Olympics were back in 1912.

Unlike the gold medals, silver ones are actually made of 100% silver. But as per the rules, these must have at least 92.5% silver. Meanwhile, bronze medals are also the mixed ones as bronze is an alloy (made up by combining other metals with copper). It may have as much as 95% copper and 5% zinc. Like gold ones bronze medals can have silver in them but it happens rarely and the amount may be only about 1%.

Apart from these, there are also trends of adding other materials to the medals. And it's done by the hosts. In 2008 Summer Olympics (held in Beijing), China used jade for the medals.

Another example is the medals for the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2020. Japan used metals extracted from recycled electronic devices (like old phones and laptops).

How heavy is one Olympic Medal?

Photo Courtesy: Olympics

Olympic medals weight depends on their sizes and materials. We have just talked about the materials composition. Here are the medal sizes over the years. Now let's talk about their weight. It'll give you a clear idea about how heavy an Olympic medal can be.

Just like the size, Olympic medals haven't had any fixed weight over the years. The weight of the medals at Olympics varies from 500 to 800 grams. It is equivalent to 17.64 to 28.22 ounces. Use our weight converter to convert and see for yourself.

An Olympic gold medal weighs just slightly heavier than a silver medal. However, a bronze medal can weigh quite less.

For example, during the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2020, the gold medals were 556 grams in weight. Silver medals were 550 grams, and the third prize, bronze medals, were 450 grams.

Medals of Summer Olympic and Winter Olympic Games

Summer and winter olympic games hosts different sports games and attracts different athletes. These also differe in terms of medals too.

The medals are generally thicker, larger, and heavier for the Winter Games than the ones for the Summer Games. 

Recent Summer Olympic Medal Weight Chart

YearHost CityHost CountryGold Medal Weight (grams)Silver Medal Weight (grams)Bronze Medal Weight (grams)
2000SydneyAustralia188185170
2004AthensGreece148139118
2008BeijingChina188185170
2012LondonUK412412357
2016RioBrazil500500500
2020TokyoJapan556550450

Recent Winter Olympic Medals Weight Chart

YearHost CityHost CountryGold Medal Weight (grams)Silver Medal Weight (grams)Bronze Medal Weight (grams)
2002Salt LakeUSA567567454
2006TurinItaly469469469
2010VancouverCanada576576500
2014SochiRussia531525460
2018PyeongchangSouth Korea586580493

Outro

So now you know that the gold medals hold some amount of gold in it, however the weight may be. The weight has been lighter in early years of 2000s and has been increasing in recent times for Summer Olympics. However, the medals for the Winter games has been in the same weight range.

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Cover photo courtesy: Olympics