World Coins

Olympic medals sale includes winner’s recognition

One of just 36 second-place winner’s medals from the 1936 Winter Olympic Games in Garmisch, Germany, is being offered in RR Auction’s online sale, bidding for which opens  Jan. 11 and closes Jan. 18.

At 100 millimeters in diameter, the medal is one of the largest medals ever struck for an Olympic competition, according to RR Auction. Struck in .990 fine silver, the medal weighs 325 grams. The medal was designed by German artist Richard Klein and was struck by Deschler and Sohn of Munich, Germany.

The obverse depicts a caped female charioteer holding a victory wreath and driving a triga (three-horse chariot) over an arch, below which is a compilation of winter sports equipment. Raised text GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN (a German ski resort in Bavaria, formed when two towns united in 1935) arcs beneath the design. On the reverse, the Olympic rings are centered, with encircling raised text: IV OLYMPISCHE above and WINTERSPIELE 1936 below. The edge is inscribed, incused, 990 SILVER.

According to RR Auction, only 755 athletes competed in these games, and a total of 36 gold, 36 silver, and 36 bronze medals were minted.

The estimate for the offered medal is $35,000+.

Sochi 2014 bronze finisher’s medal

Among the other medals is a bronze third-place finisher’s medal from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

The 102-millimeter bronze medal weighs 471 grams and was designed by artists at the firm Leo Burnett Moscow. It carries an estimate of $25,000+.

The obverse and reverse of the medal share share a window with a polycarbonate crystal mosaic that features a “patchwork quilt” of national designs from the various cultures and ethnicities of the Russian Federation. The reverse is engraved with the Sochi Games logo. The edge is inscribed in Russian, French, and English with “XXII Oympic Games.” The auction lot includes the medal’s dark blue ribbon, as well as its white wooden presentation box.

According to the auction lot description, “These magnificent prizes are the result of a national design competition organized by the Sochi Olympic committee, which requested that all formal entries be unique, modern, and, of course, Russian. Only a small number of spare medals—reportedly 46—were produced for the XXIIth Winter Olympiad to be awarded in the rare instance of a tie or draw. Coincidentally, the Sochi Games witnessed a pair of ties: Canada’s Jan Hudec and America’s Bode Miller tied for bronze in the Alpine skiing super-G, and Slovenia’s Tina Maze and Switzerland’s Dominique Gisin shared the gold in the Alpine skiing downhill, the first time a skiing event has had a joint gold medal.”

Helsinki 1952

A "gold" first-place winner’s medal from the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, is also offered.

The gilt-silver first-place winner’s medal from the Helsinki Summer Olympics in 1952 is 51 millimeters in diameter and weighs 68 grams. The medal was designed by Italian painter and sculptor Guiseppe Cassioli.

The medal’s obverse is inscribed XV OLYMPIA HELSINKI 1952, and features a Seated Victory figure with the Colosseum in the background. The reverse portrays a winner carried by jubilant athletes. The medal is inscribed on the edge with 916 M and Y6 designating the silver fineness and the mint of production. Just 320 of these first-place prize medals were issued, according to RR Auction.

The medal carries an estimate of $15,000+.

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