Which Medals and Trophies Contain the Most Precious Metals?

As we have noted before on this blog, most “gold medal” prizes contain very small amounts of that precious metal. Even those flashy big gold medals that are given on the awards platform at the Olympics don’t contain enough gold to be worth recycling.

What about the gold-toned Oscars that are given to Academy Award winners? They are only plated with a very thin layer of 24-karat gold. Even though they stand 13.5 inches tall and weigh more than eight pounds, they still don’t contain enough gold to recycle for a significant amount of money.

Old gold-plated commemorative trophies like this are worth recycling and refining by Specialty Metals Smelters & Refiners, but newer ones aren't worth the effort.

Old gold-plated commemorative trophies like this are worth recycling and refining by Specialty Metals Smelters & Refiners, but newer ones aren't worth the effort.

Similar observations can be made about most medals, trophies, and figurines that are given as prizes and rewards. They sometimes contain gold and silver, but rarely enough to be worth recycling.

But There is Value in Some Trophies, Medals and Awards

  • Older silver medals and trophies made before about 1970 can be made of solid sterling silver or of silver-plate that is worth recycling. Silver trophies and other silver awards made in recent years are very thinly plated and not worth recycling.
  • Older gold-plated medals and trophies made before about 1950 can contain enough gold to recycle profitably. Commemoratives from those earlier years were often gold filled, meaning that gold plating was applied in thicker layers than it typically is today.
  • Bronze medals are made of solid bronze more often than gold or silver medals are made of pure metal. But bronze is not very valuable. It only sells for about $1.30 per pound. Plus, some bronze medals are made of bronze that is plated over iron or another base metal. In either case, you are going to have to collect several tons of them before you take them to a recycling yard. And when you do, you will not get a lot of money for them.

Not Sure What You Have? Call Us at 800-426-2344

Our precious metals recycling consultants are standing by to answer your questions about turning your trophies, medals and other commemoratives into cash. Why not call us today to learn more?

Related Posts:

There Could Be More Gold in Old Commemoratives and Trophies than You Think 
What Are Your Collectable Medals Worth 
Why Older Rings, Trophies and Beer Steins are Worth Searching for and Recycling 
Why the Gold Kentucky Derby Trophy Could Be the Most Valuable Trophy Ever Made