Prize medals were given out at the first of the modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 and it is a tradition that might be the most well-known and visible symbol of Olympic achievement. This tradition didn’t start out with the same trio of Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals that we know today, at the first games only first and second place finishers received medals, silver for first, bronze for second place. At the second Olympics in 1900 the first gold medals were given out, but prizes were awarded up to 20th place, and medals were allocated differently depending on the sport (many sports still did not award gold medals even for first place).
In 1904, the Olympics in St. Louis created the standard of Gold, Silver, Bronze that prevails today. From 1900 to 1912 Gold medals were actually made of solid gold, but since 1912 Gold medals have been made of gilt silver (silver that has been covered in gold).
Olympic Medals are some of the rarest artifacts around, even in modern Summer Olympics only around 2000 medals may be awarded, while in Winter only around 400 medals are awarded and these medals are then spread throughout the world. These medals also clearly have intense sentimental value and rarely come up for purchase. Olympic collectors love medals because they usually come with great stories in addition to their collectibility.
If you have a medal you want to sell, please give me a chance to make you an offer. I am an avid collector of Olympic memorabilia and I make very aggressive offers for Olympic medals.