London 2012 Olympic gold medal pictures and hands-on

There were just 302 gold medals up for grabs at the London 2012 Olympic games. Each and every one was lovingly machined by the Royal Mint after being designed by decorative artist David Watkins.

With the games over, those athletes who missed out will have to wait a few more years before they get another shot at winning gold in Brazil. To those who won one at London 2012, it no doubt becomes their most treasured possession instantaneously.

Pocket-lint was lucky enough to catch up with 200m hurdle gold medal winning Australian athlete Sally Pearson at the Acer building in the Olympic park. Pearson just so happened to have her recently won gold medal sat in her pocket. We asked her for a play and she abided. So how does a gold medal feel?

The first thing you notice when picking one of the medals up is just how heavy it is. They are 375-400g in  weight thanks to a construction of 92.5 per cent silver and 1.34 per cent gold. The rest of the medal is made up from copper.

It has been a long time since gold medals were really made from gold. At the 1912 Olympic games in Sweden medals were made from solid gold. It would have cost an extra 25 million pounds if the London 2012 medals had been made from solid gold. Just recently an Olympic gold medal from the 1908 games went on sale at Christies in London, it made £7000 at auction.

The design of the London 2012 gold medal is incredibly impressive when you see it up close. Firstly the actual engraving and texture of the medal is amazing. It is really three dimensional and looks as classic as it does modern. Designed with advice from the British Museum's head of coins and medals, it is a gold medal which draws on history as much as it tries to do something new. The actual London 2012 logo in particular is very impressive.

The medal is a lot bigger than you would imagine. It feels really substantial in the hand. Thing Galaxy Note size rather than iPhone 4S. The attached ribbon is also really high quality and is built to last.

If you fancy taking a look at the entire range of London 2012 medals, they are currently on show at the British Museum.

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