February 6, 2014 / Design / Inspiration / Spotlight

Bringing Home the Gold (or Silver or Bronze)

With the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi kicking off today, we’re excited to see the world’s best athletes compete for a chance to win the world’s best hardware. Yes, while most spectators will be focused on the actual sporting events, we can’t help but pay attention to the prized medals.  Therefore, we’ve dedicated the gallery below to the precious metals of the Olympic medals, so that you might fully appreciate the special hardware on the winners’ podium.

Interesting Facts About the 2014 Sochi Medals:

With the price tag of $51 billion, the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics are officially the most expensive Olympic games in history. While the majority of the expense stems from the addition of a dozen new winter games and associated locations, the record number of uniquely crafted medals is no small expenditure.


The Sochi Olympic Medals

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• The 2014 Sochi medals have been custom created by a Russian designer to represent the unique landscape of Sochi, Russia. With a transparent etching depicting the icy mountaintops of the Caucasus Mountains and a patchwork design representing the diverse ethnicities that make up the Russian Federation, it’s a design that illustrates the defining qualities of the Olympic setting.
• The front side of the medal features the Olympic rings.
• The backside contains the name of the competition in English and the logo of the Sochi 2014 games.
• The official name of the games in Russian, English and French is engraved on the medal’s rim.


Gold Medal with Meteorite

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• Sochi gold medals contain 525 grams of silver (with a 960 hallmark) and 6 grams of gold (with a 999 hallmark) – making them 92.5% silver, 1.34% gold and the rest being comprised of an alloy of metals and polycarbonate.
• Sochi silver medals contain 525 grams of silver (with a 960 hallmark).
• Sochi bronze medals with a 460 hallmark.
• Depending on the type of metal used, the Sochi medals weigh between 460 and 531 grams in total.
• Each medal is 10mm thick and 100mm in diameter.
• Some of the gold medals given out on February 15 will include pieces of the Chelyabinsk meteorite, which struck Russia on February 15, 2013.


Manufacturing Olympic Medals

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• With more events than ever before, a record number of over 1,300 medals have been manufactured for the Sochi games (a total weight of more than 700 kg).
• With an intricate process that can be divided into several core stages (including a combination of manual work and ultra-modern technologies), it takes approximately 18 hours to produce each medal.


• Olympic Gold Medal ≈ $644
• Olympic Silver Medal ≈ $330
• Olympic Bronze Medal ≈ $5
• However, different governments incentivize their athletes by paying them cash for each medal earned. For example, in exchange for their training efforts, the Russian government is planning on paying its gold medal winners upwards of $122,000 per medal, while countries such as England will offer their athletes $25,000 for gold.

How Can You Decorate with These Metals?

Now that you know everything there is to know about the Sochi Olympic medals, you’re probably inspired to infuse some of these precious metals into your home décor. Each metal certainly has its own unique set of characteristics, so here’s some ideas on how they can be used in your home.

Gold: Traditional and Rich
Because there’s nothing quite as elegant, traditional and rich as gold, it’s no wonder that it’s the highest medal used to reward the definitive winners of the games. Add luxury and timeless style to your living space with gold hardware and lighting.

Gold Hardware and Lighting


Find these products on our site: 1. Waverly Cabinet Knob; 2. Steeple-Tip Cabinet Hinge; 3. Victorian Kitchen Pendant; 4. Fox Door Knocker; 5. Newport Entry Set; 6. Cambridge 6 Light Chandelier; 7. Scalloped Bin Pull; 8. Brass and Crystal Sconce; 9. Kensington Bin Pull in 24K Gold Finish; 10. Kensington Cabinet Knob in 24K Gold Finish; 11. Door Hinge with Ball Finials

Image Credits: Kitchen with Large Chandelier; White Kitchen with Brick; Entry Way

Silver: Fresh and Modern

Despite the fact that it’s used to represent the second-place finisher in the games, silver is equally preferred by interior decorators for its modern, sleek appearance. Use silver tones in your home for a bright, clean look that complements any décor.

Silver Hardware and Lighting


Find these products on our site: 1. Continental Classic Two Light Sconce; 2. Traditional Brass Cabinet Knob; 3. Brass Bin Pull; 4. Ribbon and Reed Towel Ring; 5. Traditional Mail Slot; 6. Floral Design Mechanical Door Bell; 7. Mid-Century Brass Bar Pull; 8. Emery 1 Light Pendant; 9. Atomic Cabinet Knob; 10. Mid-Century Toggle Switch Plate

Image Credits: Bathroom with Silver Hardware; Exterior with Silver Hardware; Modern Silver Kitchen

Bronze: Classic and Warm
While gold and silver might sparkle like no other, there is an inherent character to bronze that many value for its warmth and range of colors. Rustic or refined, there’s nothing quite as classic and warm as the bronze items below.

Bronze Hardware and Lighting

Find these products on our site: 1. Ava Large Foyer Pendant; 2. Scroll Design Hook; 3. Daisy Design Bronze Cabinet Knob; 4. Cast Bronze Bin Pull; 5. Mission Single Brass Sconce; 6. Stickley Style Horizontal Pull; 7. Solid Bronze Scroll Design Floor Grate; 8. Lancaster Door Set with Matching Knobs; 9. Cast Bronze Bin Pull

Image Credits: White Kitchen with Bronze Hardware; Vanity with Bronze Fixtures; Wood and Bronze Kitchen

These are just a sampling of ideas and products using Olympic medals as design inspiration. For more Olympic-medal ideas, check out our Pinterest Board and our website!

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about the medals for the 2014 Winter Olympic games in Sochi. Winning an Olympic medal is definitely the highest athletic achievements there is, and we believe that spreading a little gold, silver and bronze around your home is a surefire way for your décor to excel as well.