How Much Is An Olympic Gold Medal Worth?

If the International Olympic Committee still gave solid gold medals to first place finishers, those medals would be pretty valuable, but after the 1912 Olympic Games they made the switch to silver medals coated in gold. So, any modern Olympian looking to melt theirs and sell it for parts doesn’t stand to earn quite as much. The gold medals made for the Tokyo Olympics are roughly 6 grams of gold atop roughly 550 grams of pure silver. Since gold and silver rates fluctuate frequently, the value of the metal changes. Right now, it’s hovering somewhere above $800. A silver medal comes in at around $460, and bronze medals — which are mostly copper and a little zinc — are worth just a few bucks. However, Olympic gold medals have value beyond the sum of their parts, and plenty of athletes have hocked them for much more than a paltry $800 or so. Mark Wells, a member of the “Miracle on Ice” U.S. hockey team of 1980, sold his to a private collector, who auctioned it off for nearly $311,000 in 2010. Wells’ teammate, Mark Pavelich, made $262,900 off his own medal four years later. Others end up in the auction circuit long after the original owners are gone. In 2013, for example, one of Jesse Owens’ gold metals from the 1936 Berlin Olympics sold for $1.47 million.