Mine to Medals tells the story of the production of the medals for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, from the mining of the metal by Rio Tinto through the creation of the designs to production by the Royal Mint. The display features London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic medals – shown here for the first time.
Historical context for the medals is provided by 19th- and 20th-century objects highlighting the longstanding links between Britain and the Olympic and Paralympic Movements. The Olympian Games of Much Wenlock, Shropshire, greatly inspired the founder of the modern Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin, and the Paralympic Games are derived from the games held in 1948 at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Buckinghamshire, for people injured in World War Two.
The display includes objects from the 19th-century Shropshire games alongside medals from the 1908 and 1948 Olympic Games held in London, and the 1960 and 1984 Paralympic Games.
The London 2012 Olympic Games medal design is by renowned jeweller David Watkins, who was for many years Professor of Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery at London’s Royal College of Art.
The London 2012 Paralympic Games medal was created by Lin Cheung, a jeweller and practising artist. She is also a Senior Lecturer for Jewellery Design at London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.
Metals for the medals were mined and processed at Rio Tinto’s operations – Kennecott Utah in the United States and Oyu Tolgoi in Mongolia – and the medals themselves struck at the Royal Mint in Wales.