Beijing Olympics' medals among best in Games' history

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Beijing, Aug 21 (UNI) Claiming a purity of 99.9 per cent in their product, makers and officials today said the 3,000 medals this time are among the best in the Games' history and the most advanced technologies have been used to manufacture them.

''The 3,000 medals (gold, silver and bronze) were made according to the standards set by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

They were inspected and passed by the National Center of Quality Supervision and Inspection on Gold-Silver Products, and the Shanghai Research Institute of Materials,'' Cultural Activities Director of BOCOG, Zhao Dongming said.

''In case of gold and silver medals, the purity of the medals was 99.9 per cent and they are inlaid with jade from Qinghai province,'' Dongming said.

However, speaking about the production of the medals, Luo Yonghui, a senior designer at Shanghai Mint under the China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation, which produces the medals, said, ''We adopted advanced technologies and enhanced management during the production.'' Luo was confident that the medals at the Beijing Olympics are some of the best in Olympic history. He said, ''To ensure that each gold medal contained at least six gm of pure gold, we weighed each one before, during and after the medal was gilded.'' About 45 experiments are also carried on each medal as they are incorporated with the precious jade so that the jade never fell off, he stated.

We have maintained the IOC's strict standard on the material, identification, weight, size and etchings on medals. ''Each must be at least 70 mm in width and 6 mm thick,'' the designer said while giving a brief about the medals.

''The gold and silver medals must contain at least 92.5 per cent silver, and at least six gm of 24-carat gold, respectively. The bronze medals are mostly made of copper,'' The BHP Billiton in Australia has provided the raw materials for the medals. ''The company's mining sites in Chile and Australia has provided 13.04 kg of gold, 1,340 kg of silver and 6,930 kg of copper,'' he said, adding, ''All the raw materials passed examination and the reports were submitted to the IOC.'' UNI HSB PY DS1400

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