Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals might be made of e-waste

Coin World Buzz: The people of Japan dispose of a huge amount of electronic devices that contain gold and silver
By , Coin World
Published : 08/24/16
Text Size

Coin World gives you a quick look at what's buzzing in the world of numismatics and precious metals:

Tokyo 2020 going ‘green’?

Tokyo is hosting the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, and organizers are considering using surplus gold and silver e-waste to create the medals that will be awarded to athletes, NBC News reports.

Tokyo is one of the biggest tech hubs in the world, and the gold and silver in electronic devices disposed of by the people of Japan e-waste amounts to 16 percent and 22 percent, respectively, of the world's supply of gold and silver e-waste, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

Yuko Sakita of Genki Net for Creating a Sustainable Society, one of the groups working on the proposal, says the idea and its execution could do a lot to raise awareness about e-waste recycling and give the effort to expand it a jolt.

You might have heard of precious metals in e-waste before. We reported in April that Apple recovered $40 million in scrap gold from damaged or broken iPhones in 2015.

And eco-friendly Olympic medals probably ring a bell, too. Rio 2016 went the sustainability route, as well.

American Liberty silver medals

Well that didn't last long. 

The American Liberty silver medals were made available for purchase by the U.S. Mint at 12 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, and within six minutes both versions were listed as “unavailable.”

Here's the full story.

The Cartwheel Coin

Living wasn't always easy in 18th century Britain.

A shortage of coins led a culture of counterfeits, at least until inventor Matthew Boulton received royal permission to strike copper coins at his private mint to help fill the need.

Those coins are considered by some to be “the first truly modern coins.”

Connect with Coin World:  

What else is new this week?

You are signed in as:null

Please sign in or join to share your thoughts on this story

No comments yet