by Chris Chase, USA Today:
There’s not much gold in a gold medal. It’s one of those famous misnomers, like a peanut not actually being a nut and how we drive on parkways and park on driveways.
Since gold is expensive (duh) and making a substantially-weighted pure-gold medal for all 98 winners at the Winter Olympics would cost more than $2 million, a combination of metals is used to create Sochi golds. (Then again, if the Games really cost $50 billion, shelling out a few million for pure gold medals would have been a write-off.)
The Sochi gold medal weighs a total of 531 grams, which is about the same weight as your standard plastic bottle of water. Of those 531 grams, only six are actual gold. The rest is made of silver. Using the current rates of both precious metals, the street value of a gold medal is approximately $548.
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