Olympic Gold Medals

Artistic Adornments

 2018 Olympic Medals

2018 Olympic Medals

Did you ever wonder, “How are Olympic medals made?” “Who designed the Olympic medals for the Pyeong Chang 2018 Olympics?” Or “How much are the Olympic medals worth?”

The 2018 Olympic medals are beautiful and meaningful. As a metal artist and jewelry designer, I was curious about the process of design, fabrication and symbolism of these stunning works of art.

Here are some things I learned about Olympic Gold Medal Design:

 This illustrates the construction process of the medal design.

This illustrates the construction process of the medal design.

  1. Lee Suk-woo is the renowned industrial Korean designer who created the stunning medal for the 2018 Winter Games.
  2. Lee used the texture of tree trunks to illustrate the development of Korean tradition, and the “lifetime of hard work and dedication” by the athletes who will wear the medals.
  3. The grooved texture is formed by 3-dimensional strips that are actually letters from the Korean alphabet stretched diagonally across the face of the medal. When viewed from the side they spell out Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics. The Korean alphabet is an important part of the culture, dating back to the 15th century.
  4. The Fabric making up the ribbon is a traditional Korean textile.
  5. The medals come in a wooden disc-shaped box that represents the roofs of traditional Korean houses.
  6. Weighing in at 586 grams (almost 1.3 pounds), this gold medal is heavier than any of the past Olympic medals. It is actually made of gold plated silver and contains the required 6 grams of gold.
  7. According to Anthony DeMarco of Jewelry News Network, the Gold Medal, though priceless, is worth $570 using last week’s scrap metal values. If it were made of solid gold, it would cost $25,000.