These beautiful custom medals are worn by none other than the 2012 London Olympians.
Have you seen the medals yet? Here they are and they are gorgeous. Gorgeous! We can’t seem to stop admiring the elegance of the design and we’re sure you can either.
The largest medals ever made in the history of the Olympics, the medals measure 85mm in diameter and 7mm thick. The front of the medals features the official London 2012 logo placed over a variety of lines and geometric shapes that are meant to represent the energy of London. The backs feature the Greek Goddess, Nike standing in front of the 1896 Panathenaic stadium.
The gold medals are made up of 92.5% silver and only 1/34% gold, with the remainder being copper. The silver medal is made up of 92.5% silver and the rest is copper. And finally, the bronze is made up of 97.0% copper, 2.5% zinc and .5% tin. Metals were minded in Utah, Mongolia, Australia, and England. Interesting, isn’t it? Most of us here at the office always assumed, or perhaps hoped that they were each purely of the metal they appeared to be.
The deeper, older story behind the medal itself is a long-told one.
The Olympic medals’ circular form is a metaphor for the world. The front of the medal always depicts the same imagery at the Summer Games – the Greek Goddess of Victory, Nike, stepping out of the depiction of the Parthenon to arrive in the Host City.
The design for the reverse features five symbolic elements:
1. The curved background implies a bowl similar to the design of an amphitheater.
2. The core emblem is an architectural expression, a metaphor for the modern city, and is deliberately jewel-like.
3. The grid suggests both a pulling together and a sense of outreach – an image of radiating energy that represents the athletes’ efforts.
4. The River Thames in the background is a symbol for London and also suggests a fluttering baroque ribbon, adding a sense of celebration.
5. The square is the final balancing motif of the design, opposing the overall circularity of the design, emphasizing its focus on the centre and reinforcing the sense of ‘place’ as in a map inset.