LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire -07/02/12)- As one of the pinnacles of sporting achievement, an Olympic Medal is worth more than its weight in gold. But if one were to assign a monetary value to such a priceless object, what would it be? This was the question that Currencies Direct, the UK's leading provider of currency exchange services, recently asked.
The gold medal that will be given to winning athletes at London 2012 is the largest and heaviest medal handed out at any summer Olympics. Weighing in at 400 grams (14 ounces), athletes will have the equivalent of a large can of baked beans hanging around their neck!
The gold medals at the London games are also 17 times heavier than at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. But, by contrast, the 1912 games was the last time that the gold medals were made entirely of gold. Now, each medal is made up largely of silver with a thin coat of gold.
Although the organising of each host city will come up with the exact design and composition of medals, the International Olympic Committee has set certain rules. Notably, gold medals must have 92.5% minimum silver content and contain at least six grams of gold. In London, the remaining weight will be made up by copper.
By taking into account the current prices of both gold and silver, Currencies Direct estimate that a London gold medal is worth approximately GBP 450. It is also believe that, in spite of inflation and rising gold prices, the London gold medal has a higher "podium value" of any other previous winning medal.
But, rather curiously, London 2012 is the first time ever that the silver in this year's gold medal is worth more than its gold content!
However, winning a gold medal in London can be extremely lucrative for a British athlete. Leading sponsorship agency Octagon, whose clients include Paula Radcliff, estimate that some British winners could earn up to GBP 2 million in sponsorship and promotion before Rio 2016.
So while all that glitters may not be entirely golden, winning a gold medal at the Olympic Games in London will lead to a huge cash windfall for victorious athletes.
About Currencies Direct
Currencies Direct is one of Europe's leading non-bank providers of currency exchange payment services. Since its formation in 1996 Currencies Direct has evolved and positioned from being an innovative service provider of foreign exchange and exchange rates for consumers and high net worth individuals into a dynamic and pioneering 'business to business' fully integrated treasury solution service provider.
Headquartered in the City of London (United Kingdom) with operations in Europe, Africa, Asia and the United States, Currencies Direct is part of the Azibo Group, a privately owned investment company.