Medals


The Olympic medals awarded to winners are another symbol associated with the Olympic games. The medals are made of gold-plated silver (commonly described as gold medals), silver, or bronze, and awarded to the top 3 finishers in a particular event. Each medal for an Olympiad has a common design, decided upon by the organizers for the particular games. From 1928 until 2000, the obverse side of the medals contained an image of Nike, the traditional goddess of victory, holding a palm in her left hand and a winner's crown in her right. This design was created by Giuseppe Cassioli. For each Olympic games, the reverse side as well as the labels for each Olympiad changed, reflecting the host of the games. In 2004, the obverse side of the medals changed to make more explicit reference to the Greek character of the games. In this design, the goddess Nike flies into the Panathenic stadium, reflecting the renewal of the games. The design was by Greek jewelry designer Elena Votsi.[19] A gold medal is typically the medal awarded for highest achievement in a non-military field. Its name derives from the use of at least a fraction of gold in form of plating or alloying in its manufacture. The award concept arose in the military, initially by simple recognition of military rank, and later by decorations for admission to military orders dating back to medieval times.[citation needed] Since the eighteenth century, gold medals have been awarded in the arts, for example, by the Royal Danish Academy, usually as a symbol of an award to give an outstanding student some financial freedom. Others offer only the prestige of the award. Many organizations now award gold medals either annually or extr

ordinarily, including UNESCO and various academic societies. While most gold medals are solid gold, notable exceptions are gold-plated and often silver-gilt, like those of the Olympic Games, the Lorentz Medal, the United States Congressional Gold Medal (displayed to the right) and the Nobel Prize medal. Nobel Prize medals consist of 18 carat green gold plated with 24 carat gold. Before 1980 they were struck in 23 carat gold.The last series of Olympic medals to be made of solid gold were awarded at the 1912 Olympic games in Sweden. Olympic Gold medals are required to be made from at least 92.5% silver, and must contain a minimum of 6 grams of gold.[6] All Olympic medals must be at least 60mm in diameter and 3mm thick.[7] Minting the medals is the responsibility of the Olympic host. From 1928 through 1968 the design was always the same: the obverse showed a generic design by Florentine artist Giuseppe Cassioli with text naming the host city; the reverse showed another generic design of an Olympic champion. From the 1972 Summer Olympics through 2000, Cassioli's design (or a slight modification) remained on the obverse with a custom design by the host city on the reverse. Noting that Cassioli's design showed a Roman amphitheater for what originally were Greek games, a new obverse design was commissioned for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. For the 2008 Beijing Olympics medals had a diameter of 70mm and were 6mm thick, with the front displaying a winged figure of victory and the back showed a Beijing Olympics symbol surrounded by an inset jade circle. Winter Olympics medals have been of more varied design. The silver and bronze medals have always borne the same designs.