Olympic and Paralympic Medals

The Ottawa facility of the Royal Canadian Mint spent two years designing and fabricating the 615 Olympic winter games medals and the 399 Paralympic winter games medals for 2010. Each medal weighs between 500 and 576 grams among the heaviest in Olympic Games history. It took the combined efforts of 34 Mint engineers, engravers, die technicians, machinists and production experts to create this series of athlete medals.  The process included 30 steps and took 402 days.  These medals are the first Olympic medals to use and undulating form which required 12 dies which were computer-sculpted and milled.  Each medal was struck nine times with 1900 tons of pressure in sets of three with annealing and polishing between sets.  The blanks for these medals were cast, milled and rolled bars cut to a precise width and thickness.  Each of the 1014 medals is unique; a different design was created by Omer Arbel for each from two works of art, the killer whale for the Olympics and the raven for the Paralympics, both by Corrine Hunt.  The medals were presented with a silk scarf containing the full artwork so that the individual medals designs could be found by the athletes in the greater whole of the piece.  These designs and the text for the medals had to be laser etched and engraved due to the undulating shape of the medals.  A specially designed ribbon hanger was pressed into each of the medals.  This hanger design was tested to withstand 200 pounds of pressure.  The medals were electroplated and then protected with a clear coat before being cold weather tested to -20°C.

(Excerpts from the royal Canadian mint web site: http://www.mint.ca/store/mint/learn/vancouver-2010-2700002?rcmeid=van_2010en)

The objects were fully examined and a conservation condition report was provided.

CSMO prepared a custom archival support for the storage and transportation of the 2010 three Olympic and three Paralympic Winter games medals following the IOC, National and International conservation guidelines.

2010 Medals

The final report included recommendation on the future care, handling, storage and conservation of the artifacts.