Gold, silver, and bronze medals have not always been awarded. In the original Greek games, a wreath of olive leaves taken from a tree near the temple of Zeus was placed on the victor’s head.
When the first modern Olympics were held in Athens in 1896, the first-place winners were awarded silver medals, since silver was more sought-after at the time.
The runners-up got bronze medals. The winners at the 1900 Paris Olympics received trophies or cups instead of medals.
The custom of awarding gold, silver, and bronze medals started at the 1904 St. Louis Olympics. The last Olympic gold medal that was made from solid gold was awarded in 1912 in Stockholm.
After that year, the gold medals have been gilded silver rather than solid gold.