London 2012: And the 92.5% silver gold medal goes to…

The gold medals that will be given to winning athletes at this year's Olympics which kicks off next week are the largest and heaviest medals to be awarded in the history of the modern summer games.

This year the medals weigh in at 400 grams or 14 ounces – the weight of an average (full) can of beer.

Making the 2012 gold medal from pure gold would amount to $22,000 per medal at Friday's closing price of $1,585 an ounce.

A total of 302 gold medals will be awarded at London 2012 which translates to a tab for the International Olympic Committee of little bit over $6.7 million.

Not exactly breaking the bank considering the billions paid in television rights.

Nevertheless according to the Economist the event organizers ruled that a gold medal will be 92.5% silver. For the sake of appearances the medals must also contain at least six grams of gold with the remainder made up of copper.

Given this metal mix a 2012 Olympic gold medal would be worth around $700 if you melt it down.

In fact, the last time first-place medals were made of pure gold was a century ago in Stockholm by the generous Swedes.

Image by Ints Vikmanis /