The final tally for U.S. medals is 36 gold, 38 silver and 36 bronze. Not bad!
Sorry Michael Phelps, but those gold medals aren’t solid gold: the last ones that were were awarded in 1912. If they were made of solid gold, they’d weigh four pounds and be worth about $50,000. Instead, they are covered with six grams of gold, according to specifications. Both the gold and silver medals are made of 92.5% silver. Bronze medals are mostly copper.
The medals are designed for each Olympic Games by the host city’s organizing committee.
Despite the fact that the medals aren’t as pure as their name implies, they aren’t worthless: gold is worth about $570; silver is worth about $403 and bronze is worth about $11.