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Olympic Gold Medal

August 21, 2012

Designed by British designer, David Watkins

I found it interesting to learn about the gold medal that was created for the Olympics this year. It was created by British designer 71 year old David Watkins who was born in Wolverhamption. He graduated in 1963 from the University of Reading. He has had work at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC and the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, In 2010, a retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, titled Artist in Jewellery, a Retrospective View (1972-2010). He was the special effects designer for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

On the Olympic gold medal, Watkins chose to depict the image of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, stepping out of Greek temple, The Parthenon, to arrive in the host city. On the rear, there are symbolic elements: Olympics logo, venues, and the Thames River flowing through the emblem from left to right and diagonal lines cutting through in every direction.

The London medals (85 mm in diameter, 8-10 mm in thickness and 412 grams in weight), are the biggest and heaviest in Olympic history. A gold medal made of solid gold would be worth roughly $24,000. However, the London golds are actually 92.5% silver, 6.16% copper and just 1.34% gold and worth about $700 in the cost of materials. The medals were minted at the Royal Mint headquarters in Llantrisant, South Wales.

The information for this post is from Art of the Week which comes through my email automatically each week. You can receive the information by sending your email address to artoftheweek@gmail.com. And you can visit their archives where each week an artist is featured at www.artofweek.com.

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