The Olympics is a shining, glorious dream for athletes worldwide. Indian athletes are doing pretty well in the Rio Olympics with the Indian hockey team pushing forward into the quarter finals and Dipa Karmakar vaulting into the finals. After years of hard work and grueling grit, one athlete among countless others reach the podium, eyes glistening and proudly holding up the gold medal, but how much is this small golden disc really worth?


If the medal was melted and then evaluated in terms of money, the athletes don’t get a lot. Since the Mexican games in 1968, medals are around 6.5 millimeters thick, 65.8 millimeters broad and weigh about 176.5 grams. The London Olympics handed out bigger medals which were about 375 to 400 grams.


But the shiny medal isn’t made up entirely of gold. Only about 6 grams are real gold (24 karats) and the rest is made up of sterling silver which is 92.5 grams silver and the rest, copper. With skyrocketing prices of gold (a very real problem in India), a medal would cost about $366 or Rs. 24,467.08 and the London medals would cost about a measly $501 or Rs. 33,491.82.

Wired figured out how much they would cost of they were made of pure gold and it was a whopping $76,000 for a 3.35 pound gold medal which is Rs. 50,80596.20, OMG, I can’t even.


Some medals by famous athletes are auctioned off and bring in quite a bit. For example, Jesse Owen’s 1936 medal went under the hammer for $1.47 million in 2013. That said, an Olympic medal is way, way more valuable for an athlete even if it was made of solid gold. We are talking years of grueling training and sacrifices made in terms of studies and job alternatives which might affect them later.

Debates will rage on about the medal’s real worth, but talkin’ money they’re worth about 24,000 rupees.