Now, all of us who share this globe are poised to watch in wonder as the Olympic athletes compete in London.
With history as its backdrop for the 2012 games, the organizers in London have constructed stadiums, pools, and tracks amid the many historic buildings, castles and prominent landmarks of this great city.
There is a great deal of interest surrounding the Olympic medals. In the ancient Olympics, no medals were awarded at all. The first-place winner was given an olive wreath and the second and third place winners received nothing.
In 1896, when the modern-day Olympics were revived, first-place winners received silver medals, not gold. Gold was considered an inferior metal then. Then, in 1904, gold medals took center stage at the Olympic games in St. Louis.
Today’s gold medals are not solid gold, they are sterling silver with gold overlay.
Since 1928, Olympic medals have featured the same design on the obverse or face of the medal, with an image of a Greek goddess, the Olympic Rings, the coliseum and the host city prominent. Each host city is allowed to design the reverse of the medal.
The London medals, like all Olympic medals, have special traits which recall the specific games. Designed by artist David Watkins of South Wales, the 2012 medal has features such as the London 2012 logo — a controversial image when it was first introduced — and the River Thames in the background as symbols of London.
The medals also feature and the Greek Goddess of Victory called Nike moving toward the viewer from an ancient amphiteatre, suggesting the Olympics’ beginnings in Greece.
The designs were chosen by the London 2012 Organizing Committee’s Victory Ceremonies group, with assistance from the British Museum curator of medals and coins, Philip Atwood. The British Museum will have the medals on display throughout the games.
The medals were designed with inspiration from vintage medals dating back through the ages.
If you are only interested in buying Olympic items low and selling them high for the greatest profit, you should have acquired collectible objects associated with the 1912 London games and planned to sell them now.
Also, memorabilia from the 1948 London Olympics will sell well now that the 2012 are underway. A poster from the 1948 games brought nearly $7,500 at auction recently.
Since all post-war collectibles remain hot, that fact coupled with the upcoming 2012 London games hoopla will help you get high prices when you sell Olympic items.
The current 2012 games will also mark the third time the city of London has hosted the Olympics — this is a key anniversary and that historical event is a factor that drives the markets for collectors.
If you don’t have a valuable piece of Olympic memorabilia lying around, then consider a souvenir. Olympic caps, coffee mugs, T-shirts and other low cost objects are fun to buy, but they don’t sell for much after the fact.
Sure, it’s fun to wear your Olympic T-shirt and watch the world's athletes compete, but these mass-produced collectibles are probably not worth enough money to fund a trip to the 2016 Olympics.
The Olympics only happens once every four years, so enjoy it while it you can.