RIO DE JANEIRO — How much gold is actually in a modern Olympic gold medal?
Not much, according to a recent report in Forbes. A gold medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics is composed of 1.2 percent of gold with 99.9 percent purity. The rest is made of silver with 92.5 percent purity.
Instead, sustainability and accessibility are the two factors that make the medals this year special. The silver was recycled from leftover X-ray plates and mirrors, the bronze was recycled from waste at the Mint of Brazil, while the gold was mined without mercury.
A gold medal is worth about $564 based on the current price of gold and silver, which is likely to fluctuate in the future.
According to Forbes, a total of 2,488 medals, including 812 gold, 812 silver and 864 bronze medals, were made for the Rio 2016 Olympics. All of the medals measure 85 centimeters in diameter and weigh 500 grams.