As the decision over which of three cities will play host to the 2020 Olympic Games looms closer, the Tokyo bid committee announced that it will be selling commemorative gold coins for as much as 1.5 million yen (approx. 14,750 US dollars) in order to raise funds for the campaign. Pre-orders began being accepted today, May 30th, exactly 100 days before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announces its decision between Istanbul, Madrid, and Tokyo in September.
Those looking to put down some serious cash for the limited coins will have their choice between five different types, made of pure silver, pure gold, or 18-karat gold, and ranging in prices from 21,000 yen (206 dollars), all the way up to 1.5 million yen. One side of the coin will feature the Tokyo 2020 bid logo, while the other side will feature designs with famous landmarks and cultural items represent ing Japan and the capital city of Tokyo, including traditional ukiyo-e painting artwork, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building, and the Yoyogi National Gymnasium. The largest oval coin will be made of pure gold and weigh 123 grams (4.34 ounces), and measure 9.5 centimeters (3.7 inches) in length.
Only 50 of the commemorative coins have been produced, each with an individual serial number. While these mementos will certainly have significance if Tokyo does win the hosting duties for the 2020 Olympics, it will be interesting to see what happens if the city isn’t picked. Will these coins be little more than expensive reminders of disappointment, or could their value, in featuring markings for an event that will never happen, turn out to be much more than what people paid for them? Either way, gold is gold, and the price of that always seems to be rising.