The thousands of gold, silver and bronze medals to be awarded at this summer's Paris Olympics will all have a bit of iron and of Paris history as well, with a small hexagonal piece of the Eiffel Tower's original ironwork as part of the design.
The medal design is the work of Chaumet, a luxury jewelry brand that is part of the LVMH conglomerate. The medals will actually be struck by France's national mint, and weigh about a half kilo each. All of the metal, not only the Eiffel piece, is recycled material.
Thierry Reboul, the Olympic official in charge of ceremonies, told French press that "We found out that over the years during the maintenance of the Eiffel Tower that they were obliged to remove some of the original structure. We used these pieces. There were more than enough of them."
Medals for the Tokyo games also used recycled material; those medals were molded from alloys extracted from used consumer electronics such as cellphones and outdated laptops.