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  • OLYMPICS OLYMPICS OLYMPICS OLYMPICS. Everybody's talking about it. Or maybe I'm just talking

  • about it a lot lately, but what about those medals guys? Are they real gold or what?

  • [Music]

  • Hey guys, Trace here for DNews! Have you ever seen photos of people biting their olympic

  • medal? As if placing a piece of metal in your mouth after finally achieving sports success

  • wasn't weird enough; there's actually a lot more you're not seeing.

  • Firstly, the actual BITE is an old practice of collectors, testing the softness of gold

  • by biting it. The Mohs hardness scale measures how HARD a mineral is. Enamel on your

  • teeth, for example, scores a5... but PURE gold scores only a 2.5, so your tooth would

  • be able to scratch or dent pure gold. Silver is around 2.7, so you should be able

  • to scratch that too, but the point is -- CHECK OUT HOW PURE THIS SHIZ!

  • The thing is, Olympic medals are a pretty new tradition. The ancient Greeks placed a

  • wreath of olive branches on the head of the winner.

  • When the Olympics were revived in 1896, the winners of the first Athens Olympics all received

  • silver medals, not because they were cheap, precisely the opposite.

  • Silver was MORE precious than gold at the time. First place got silver and second got

  • copper. During the 1900 Paris Olympics the medals

  • were rectangular, and in St. Louis in 1904 the first gold medals were awarded! It wasn't

  • until London's 1908 medals that gold was awarded for first, silver second, and bronze for third

  • place. The thing is... the last actual SOLID GOLD medal was awarded in 1912 in Stockholm.

  • The dirty secret of the Olympics is gold medals aren't really gold. Well, they are. Six grams

  • of gold. Six. That's like three pennies.

  • The weight of the medals varies from one Olympics to another, as does the size... the International

  • Olympic Committee requires -- for fairness I guess? -- Gold and silver medals be made

  • of 92.5% silver, plated with at least 6 grams of gold. Yep. You heard me right.

  • The gold medals are almost all silver, the bit that's not gold or silver is copper. Which

  • means, factoring in the six grams of gold,

  • the medals currently stand at 1.45-percent gold, and 6-percent copper.

  • The SILVER medals replaced the gold with... surprise... more silver.

  • Bronze is an alloy of tin and copper with a touch of zinc added in. The reason the cities

  • don't use gold anymore is it's frickin' expensive! The cities have to BUY the metal to make these

  • things.

  • For the London Olympic games in 2012, the medals weighed 412 grams -- for comparison,

  • a can of coke weighs 373 grams.

  • The new Sochi medals will be between 460 and 531 grams depending. So... they might have

  • as little as 1.13-percent gold.

  • Salt Lake City's medals were tiny and light, whereas London's were heavy. But regardless,

  • they are ALL ceremonial, they're not going to balance your budget with the precious ingredients.

  • If London's were allllll Gold the medals alone would have cost 40-million dollars.

  • If you sold the gold medal for scrap, you'd get about 708 buckazoids, but by contrast...

  • the Bronze medal is worth less than five. dollars. Yay, third place is still good!

  • To satisfy the curious, medals DO come up for auction once in a while. A gold medal

  • from one of the members of the

  • "Miracle on Ice" team at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics went for over $310,000 four years

  • ago.

  • Long story short, it's not about their monetary worth - it's about the glory.

  • Many of the athletes spend years of training and blood and sweat to have that thing slung

  • around their neck. Does it bug you that the medals aren't what

  • you think they are? Should we go back to olive branches? Tell us what you think below the

  • video and thanks for watching, and happy Olympics to you!

OLYMPICS OLYMPICS OLYMPICS OLYMPICS. Everybody's talking about it. Or maybe I'm just talking

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Are Olympic Gold Medals Really Made of Gold?

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    Lorita Wu posted on 2014/03/28
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