Lot 3150: Rio 2016 Summer Olympics Gold Winner's Medal with Case
17th January 2019
Excessively rare winner's medal issued for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. Gilt silver, 85 mm, 500 gm, produced by the Brazilian Mint. The front features stylized laurel leaves—an ancient Greek symbol of victory—surrounding the Rio 2016 Olympic logo; the reverse features a traditional portrait of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, over Panathenaic Stadium with the Acropolis in the background, inscribed above, "XXXI Olimpiada Rio 2016." The bottom edge is engraved with the name of the event; the athlete's name and a small signed photograph will be provided to the winning bidder. Complete with the original ribbon and wooden case; the case cover's sliding mechanism is damaged, but the function is unaffected. The medal itself exhibits a few dings and scratches, but still presents beautifully. As the first Olympiad to take place in South America, the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics sought to emphasize sustainability as a key element of its platform. The medals awarded to winning athletes embodied this goal, and were constructed using sustainable and recycled materials: the gold was certified as being mercury-free; about 30% of the silver for the medals was derived from leftover mirrors, solder, and X-ray plates; the ribbons have a composition of 50% recycled plastic bottles; and the rounded wooden presentation cases were crafted from freijó wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The Brazilians Mint produced 2,488 medals in total—812 golds, 812 silvers, and 864 bronzes—and we believe this to be the very first gold to be publicly offered at auction. An immensely desirable piece from the most recent Summer Games.
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