Olympic gold medals not worth weight in gold

September 26, 2013 

Kudos to the Bradenton Police Department and whoever else was involved in the recovery of Demetrious Pinder's Olympic gold medal.

I am also very happy for Demetrious that he now has it back in his possession. I cannot even begin to imagine the anguish he went through when he discovered it was missing.

As for the value, I would like to correct a misconception. It is probably worth more than the quoted $42,000 to Mr. Pender and other Olympians who have earned them through years of dedicated hard work and training but it's melt-down value is hardly worth the effort of stealing it.

The true value of any Olympic medal is in what it represents and not it's metal content.

Olympic gold medals have not been made of pure solid gold since 1912. Today, they are sterling silver (92.5 percent silver and 6.16 percent copper) with a thin plating of 24-karat gold.

Common sense should tell you that the Olympic committee doesn't have enough money to award all those medals if they were solid gold. Google "Metal content of Olympic Medals."

I would also like to correct the erroneous technical information on the medal that has been published. The medal is 85mm (3.346 inches) in diameter and 7mm (0.2756 inches) thick and weighs 412 grams (13.25 ounce troy). As of market closing on Sept. 20, the 12.3-ounce troy of silver in the medal was worth $269.12. The 0.76-ounce troy of copper was worth $2.53 and the 6 grams (0.1929 ounce-troy) of 24-karat gold plating was worth $257.07 for a grand total of $528.72.

I'm sure the culprits would have been very disappointed if they melted down the medal only to find it wasn't solid gold. Anyone stupid enough to have an Olympic "gold" medal melted down for its metal content should be permanently removed from the gene pool.

Larry Fawber

Lakewood Ranch

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