Gold Medal Is Priceless, But Metal Is Worth $215

By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2008 8:49 PM CDT
A Chinese soldier stands guard near prototypes of the Beijing Olympic medals exhibited during the handover ceremony of metals to make medals for the Beijing 2008 Olympics.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
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(Newser) – Michael Phelps’ eight Olympic golds may be priceless, but they're not worth that much to a commodities trader, MarketWatch notes. This year's gold medals are made mostly of silver and coated with less than a quarter-ounce of gold, putting their value around $215. But people are, of course, willing to shell out much more for a piece of Olympic history.

A silver medal from the 2000 Games is listed on eBay with a starting price of $7,999.99. And in 2004, a Polish swimmer raked in more than $80,000 for charity when she auctioned off her gold medal. China's paying plenty for the medals, too: with record-high metals prices, it cost millions to make all 6,000 of them.