London 2012: Olympic medals go into production in Wales

The process of making each medal takes about 10 hours.

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Production has started on the medals for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Some 4,700 gold, silver and bronze medals are being made at the Royal Mint's headquarters in Llantrisant, in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

The process will take about 10 hours for each medal.

The medals depict the Greek goddess of victory, Nike, stepping out of the Parthenon and arriving in the host city.

The Royal Mint has brought together a specially selected team of designers, technicians and craftsmen who have been testing and refining the minting process to ensure every medal produced meets highly exacting specifications.

British artist David Watkins drew up the designs for the Olympic medals, while those for the Paralympics were done by jewellery artist Lin Cheung.

Olympic history

To replicate their designs, the medals are slowly rolled through a 750 degree furnace during a striking process which softens the metal, allowing them to have the designs crafted.

The metal ore for the medals is supplied by Rio Tinto and is mined at Kennecott Utah copper mine near Salt Lake City in America, as well as from the Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia.

London 2012 - Begin your journey here

London view

Paul Deighton, chief executive of London 2012 organisers Locog, said: 'It's great to see businesses across the UK benefiting from the games and I'm absolutely delighted that the Olympic and Paralympic medals for the victory ceremonies are being made in south Wales."

Adam Lawrence, Royal Mint chief executive, said: "We are immensely proud and honoured to be able to strike the Olympic and Paralympic medals.

"More than 800 local people are employed by the Royal Mint, and now each one will be able to tell their children and grandchildren that they, and south Wales, had a hand in creating a piece of Olympic history."

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