London 2012 Olympic gold medal pictures and hands-on

There were just 302 gold medals up for grabs at the London 2012 Olympic Games, each one lovingly machined by the Royal Mint, to a design by decorative artist David Watkins. 

With the Games over, athletes who missed out will have to wait a few more years before they get another shot at winning gold in Brazil. To those who won one at London 2012, it no doubt instantly became their most treasured possession.

Pocket-lint was lucky enough to catch up with 100m hurdle gold medallist Sally Pearson at the Acer building in the Olympic Park. The Australian athlete just happened to have her recently won gold medal in her pocket, so we asked her for a play and she obliged. So how does a gold medal feel?

The first thing you notice is just how heavy it is, each one weighing 375-400g, thanks to a construction of 92.5 per cent silver and 1.34 per cent gold. The rest of the medal is made up from copper. 

It has been a long time since Olympic medals were made entirely from gold, as at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, and recently an Olympic gold medal from the 1908 Games - also held in London - fetched £7,000 at auction at Christie's in London. It would have cost an extra £25 million for the London 2012 medals to have been made in solid gold.  

The design of the London 2012 gold medal is incredibly impressive up close, the engraving and texture amazing. It is really three dimensional and looks as classic as it does modern. Designed with advice from the British Museum's head of coins and medals, it is a gold medal which draws on history as much as it tries to do something new. The London 2012 logo in particular is very impressive.

The medal is a lot bigger than you would imagine and feels really substantial in the hand - think Galaxy Note size rather than iPhone 4S. The attached ribbon is also high quality and built to last.

If you fancy taking a look at the entire range of London 2012 medals, they are currently on show at the British Museum.

Like the look of the London 2012 medals? Let us know in the comments below ... 



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