The Rio 2016 Olympic Games have come and gone, but not without mad medals being won. South Africa grabbed a record-equalling 10 Olympic medals at the 2016 Olympic Games. These Olympic medals included two shiny gold medals from Caster Semenya for the 800m Women’s finals and Wayde van Niekerk for the 400m Men’s finals. But what if these athletes decide to sell their Olympic medals? How much could they be sold for?
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Gold Olympic medals in 2016 are priced at face-value at around R7 000 as they are merely gold-plated and not made from solid gold. Solid gold Olympic medals, which were handed out to winners up until 1912, would be valued at more than R280 000. But it’s not the gold that makes Olympic medals so valuable, it’s their appeal to collectors and avid sports fans who spend big bucks on them at special auctions or online trading sites, like Gumtree and eBay.
An American billionaire apparently paid $1.47 million (about R19 million) for one of the four gold Olympic medals Jesse Owens won at the 1936 Olympic Games. More recently, American Olympic swimmer, Anthony Ervin sold his Gold medal he earned at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney for the 50m freestyle, for charity. Ervin donated $17 101 (about R232 000) to victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami. Polish swimmer, Otylia Jedrzejczak auctioned her gold medal for the 200m butterfly she earned at the 2004 Olympic Games in London for more than R1 million and donate the money to children with leukaemia. The list goes on with Ukrainian boxer, Wladimir Klitschko auctioning off his 1996 gold medal for $1 million (about R13 million) in aid of his children’s sports camps and facilities foundation.
Other Olympic medals can go between R60 000 for a bronze medal, all the way up to R130 000 for gold medals.
Why would athletes sell their hard-earned Olympic medals? Many athletes fall on hard times and need the money for expenses, often medical treatments. But sometimes these medals are also sold off for charity.
There aren’t any South African Olympic medals for sale online at the moment. But Head of Marketing for Gumtree SA, Claire Cobbledick reckons there’s a strong possibility that one of the 86 Olympic medals won by South Africans throughout the Olympic history might pop up on Gumtree. Currently there is only a bronze medal from the 1950 British Empire Games (currently known as the Commonwealth Games) up for sale on Gumtree for R10 000.
Would you buy Olympic medals and how much would you pay? Drop us a comment and let us know.