What Is the Nobel Prize Medal Made Of?

Is the Nobel Prize Solid Gold?

The Nobel Prize actual is made of gold. The medal bears the likeness of Alfred Nobel.
The Nobel Prize actual is made of gold. The medal bears the likeness of Alfred Nobel. Ted Spiegel / Getty Images

Have you ever wondered what the Nobel Prize medal is made of? The Nobel Prize medal looks like gold, but is it really? Here's the answer to this common question about the composition of the Nobel Prize medal.

Answer: Before 1980 the Nobel Prize medal was made from 23 carat gold. Newer Nobel Prize medals are 18 carat green gold plated with 24 carat gold. Green gold, also known as electrum, is an alloy of gold and silver, with trace amounts of copper.

The diameter of the Nobel Prize medal is 66 mm but the weight and thickness varies with the price of gold. The average Nobel Prize medal is 175 g with a thickness ranging from 2.4-5.2 mm.

From 1902 to 2010, the medals were minted by the Swedish company Myntverket. However, the company ceased operations in 2011. In 2011, the Mint of Norway made the medals. In 2012, the Nobel Foundation awarded the contract for the medals to Svenska Medalk AB. The medals show the in of Alfred Nobel and the years of his birth and death.