24 May 2017

Problems with Olympic medals

From the Washington Post:
Now nearly nine months after the Games ended, it looks like organizers in Rio de Janeiro are still experiencing some hiccups. The latest issue has to do with medals handed out to more than 130 winners —  they’re rusting, chipping or as Agence France-Presse put it, “falling to pieces.”...

Andrada didn’t go into exact details about what exactly he thought was happening, but he called it “completely normal.”.. Olympic gold medals, for example, are actually just 1.34 percent gold. The rest is made of sterling silver, ABC News reports. And about 30 percent of the silver in those thousands of medals awarded in Rio came from recycled silver...

“The most common issue is that they were dropped or mishandled and the varnish has come off and they’ve rusted or gone black in the spot where they were damaged,” Andrada told Reuters, adding that silver medalists have seen the most problems.
And this:
The medals for the 2020 Games will be even more unique, with the promise of being the most environmentally friendly of all time. Per The Post’s Cindy Boren, the medals are slated to be composed of recycled cellphones and small appliances donated by Japanese citizens.


  1. Silver doesn't rust. So even if the medals are dropped and chipped, because they are made of silver (recycled or not) no rust would be present. They may tarnish, but not rust. To me this indicates they are not silver, but a knockoff lookalike metal.

  2. There is no shortage of recycled sterling silver and no excuse for shoddy plating. A metal is largely valuable because of its inherent value, anything less than actual stated metal is a shame on the recipient and the venue.

    The Olympics have never ceased to surprise me with new modes of corruption and greed on behalf of the organizers, involved corporations, and politicians. I've no doubt solid gold of high karat could be presented if only a small fraction of the corruption were eliminated.
    And Anonymous^ is absolutely correct. If there is rust they are not solid/sterling/800 silver of any respectable grade. Did they use nickel silver? There is a common trick of the unscrupulous-dealers-trade (in contrast to the honest dealers trade) to use the term "silver" to denote anything of silver colour without specificity of material.

    Heck, for reduced cost engrave pieces of antique/vintage sterling! Many can be purchased in our current flooded market for scrap value. No doubt an establishment specializing in silver would donate items for scrap and credit. Then with creative engraving (is there really a shortage of artists?) each can be personalized to the venue. I'm also willing to bet this could be accomplished with quality workmanship for a value fair to both the artists, the Olympics as brand, and the athletes involved.

    1. If they followed your advice, they oould also revive old Olympic categories and award medals for the designing of the medals -



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