Immensely appealing set of gold, silver, and bronze winner’s medals from the Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics. Conceived by Malcolm Grear Designers and manufactured by Reed and Barton, the medals individually measure 70 mm in diameter and weigh 180 gm (gilt silver), 175 gm (silver), and 165 gm (bronze). The front of each medal, inscribed “XXVI Olympiad Atlanta 1996” with Olympic rings, shows a seated Victory holding a laurel wreath and palm branch, with the Coliseum looming in the background. The reverse of each medal, inscribed “Centennial Olympic Games,” features the Atlanta logo and a stylized ‘Quilt of Leaves’ olive branch; only the gilt silver (gymnastics) and bronze (basketball) medals feature event pictograms. All three medals are inscribed on the rim, “Mfg. Sample,” and each include their original green-and-gold ribbon. The medals are housed in an attractive wooden display case laser-cut with the centennial host logo and lined on the interior in black felt (damage to the left hinge area, visible only from the outside back of the case and slightly affecting the operation of the lid, but not at all affecting the attractiveness of the impressive fully-opened display).
Preliminary medal design and production for the XXVI Olympiad began in April of 1994, with Malcolm Grear Designers and Reed and Barton selected as two of the five firms chosen from a national pool of 490 to develop the ‘Look of the Games.’ The completed winner’s medals symbolized the Olympic embrace of both the past and the present, with the front of the medal adopting Giuseppe Cassioli’s design for the 1928 Amsterdam Games, and the back incorporating an innovative pictogram design for each respective sport. As the attainment of a single winner’s medal from these illustrious Games remains a daunting task, this unique and brilliantly displayed set of all three prizes exists as a true Olympic rarity.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.