Fun on Friday: Super Bowl Silver or Olympic Gold?

Fun on Friday: Super Bowl Silver or Olympic Gold?

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You have a choice. Do you take an Olympic gold medal? Or the Lombardi Trophy?

Don’t make a hasty decision that you might regret.

Take out of the equation whether you would rather compete in the Olympics or the Super Bowl. Based purely on their value, which would you choose?

My impulse would be to go for gold. After all, it’s gold. And gold is more valuable than silver, right?

Not so fast.

Yes. It currently takes about 78 ounces of silver to buy one ounce of gold. Gold is much more expensive. But there’s a problem with Olympic gold.

It’s mostly not gold.

Gold medals are primarily made out of silver. They are silver medals covered with about 6 grams of gold plating. The value of the metal in a 556-gram Olympic medal is a little over $800. That’s nothing to sneeze at. But if it was made completely from gold, it would be valued at over $35,000 (calculated with gold at $1,800). This probably explains why the medals aren’t solid gold.

On the other hand, the Lombardi Trophy is estimated to be worth about $10,000. That’s nothing to sneeze at either. The Lombardi Trophy is nearly 2-feet tall and made from sterling silver. By the way, sterling is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by weight of silver and 7.5% by weight of other metals, usually copper.

Here’s an interesting tidbit. Players can buy an exact replica of the Lombardi Trophy. In fact, there are many Lombardi Trophies out there.

So, if your picking based simply on value, you need to get your hands on a Lombardi Trophy.

Of course, winning Olympic gold would be pretty darn cool too.

Another historical tidbit: according to Olympic records, the only time gold medals were purely made of gold was during the St. Louis games in 1904 and the London games in 1908. The medals were much smaller. And the average price of gold in 1904 was a mere $18.96 per ounce.

So, what about the bronze medal winners? They might as well not even bother. Those medals are formed of about 90% copper and 10% zinc. They weigh just under 500 grams each. The bronze medal is pretty much the penny of Olympic medals. But hey – what do you expect to get when you’re the second loser?

Fun on Friday is a weekly SchiffGold feature. I dig up some of the off-the-wall and off-beat stories relating to precious metals (however loosely) and share them with you – with tongue firmly planted in cheek. The opinions expressed are my own. They are 100% correct – but not necessarily shared by anybody else here – including Peter Schiff. Click here to read other posts in this series.

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