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29 Jun. 2016
Ask athletes what goes into Olympic gold medals, and... more
29 Jun. 2016
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Ask athletes what goes into Olympic gold medals, and they will likely say sweat and years of training. For Brazil's National Mint the answer is simpler: recycled silver. The 500-gram Olympic gold medals that athletes will be competing for in Rio de Janeiro are nearly 99 percent silver. They contain just 1.2 percent gold, mostly used as plating. The medals are the most sustainable in Olympic history. Much of the silver is recycled from old mirrors and X-ray plates. The gold is free of mercury, which is often used to separate gold from ore and can poison local ecosystems if not carefully disposed of. Nike, the winged goddess of victory in Ancient Greece, is minted on one side below the five Olympic rings, while the discipline for which the medal has been won is engraved along its edge. The other side bears the Rio 2016 logo. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes SEARCH "OLYMPIC MINT" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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