Olympic medals, memorabilia auction tops $500,000 in prices realized

1924 Chamonix Winter Olympics gold winner's medal brings more than $47,000
By , Coin World
Published : 01/26/16
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gold winner's medal awarded during the first Winter Olympics, held in 1924 in Chamonix, France, realized $47,746.83 in RR Auction's Jan. 21 sale of Olympic medals, torches and related memorabilia.

A gold winner's medal from the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles realized $41,806.80. A gold boxing medal presented to American boxer Wilbert "Skeeter" McClure at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome brought $30,202.38.

The top price paid for an Olympic torch was $46,184.95 for a torch associated with the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

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The auction brought total prices realized of $542,693.53 for the 83 lots sold, of 101 offered. A buyer's fee of 22.5 percent was added to the final closing hammer price of each lot won.

Chamonix medal

The 1924 Chamonix medal is one of only 33 gold medals issued during the 1924 Winter Games. The description for the lot, which carried an estimate of $35,000 to $40,000, does not identify to whom the medal was awarded nor for what event. A total of 294 athletes from 16 nations competed in the games.

The gilt silver medal measuring 55 millimeters in diameter and weighing 75 grams was designed by French Olympian and artist Raoul René Alphonse Bénard.

The obverse features a victorious athlete holding ice skates and skis high in the air with the Alps in the background.

Inscribed at length in French on the reverse is CHAMONIX MONT-BLANC SPORTS D’HIVER 25 JANVIER–5 FEVRIER 1924 ORGANISÉS PAR LE COMITÉ OLYMPIQUE FRANÇAIS SOUS LE HAUT PATRONAGE DU COMITÉ INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIQUE A L’OCCASION DE LA CELEBRATION DE LA VIII OLYMPIADE, which translates to English as "Chamonix Mont-Blanc Winter Sports, 25 January–5 February 1924, Organized by the French Olympic Committee under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee on the occasion of the celebration of the VIII Olympiad."

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