Mystery surrounds donation of apparent London 2012 Olympic gold medal to charity auction
- Credit: Archant
They were given out to the world's very best athletes, rewarding them at the absolute peak of their powers.
So it is nothing short of a mystery why a gold medal from the 2012 London Olympic Games has apparently ended up in the offices of a Norfolk auctioneer planning a charity sale. .
The ornament has been handed to David James, owner of James & Sons based on Norwich Street, Fakenham by an anonymous donor, to be sold at a charity auction to be held at the 17th-century Raynham Hall, East Raynham, near Fakenham, in September next year.
Mr James, who has been in the auction business for 50 years, has no idea where the medal has come from or if it was owned by an Olympic athlete but said he has no reason to believe it is not authentic.
Mr James, chairman of the Fakenham and District Branch of the Royal British Legion, regards the medal as the most intriguing item he has ever come across.
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He said: 'We were at a valuation day in Lowestoft recently when a brown envelope was left on our counter with a note marked 'RBL' for Royal British Legion.
'That sort of thing happens a lot so I left it to one side and didn't open it for a few hours.
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'When I saw what was in there I was absolutely amazed.
'There is no information about whose medal it was, or where it came from.'
The mystery deepens further with the revelation that the medal does not carry an engraving around its rim.
It was reported at the time of the Games that each medal was inscribed with the discipline for which it was won.
Mr James was unable to explain the absence of any such wording, but it raises the possibility it could have been a 'reserve' medal.
He said: 'Maybe it was a substitute or was given as a gift to an Olympic dignitary, I don't know. I plan to look into it further.
'I still expect it will be highly valuable although I have no idea where to start in terms of valuing it as I've never seen anything like this in an auction before.'
Nobody from The Royal Mint, involved in the making of the London 2012 Olympic medals, or The Organising Committee of the Olympic Games was available to comment on the medal yesterday.
Mr James is organising the Great Centenary Charity Auction to raise money for pioneering research to help bomb blast victims.
The auction is supported by General The Lord Dannatt, former head of the British Army.
Mr James believes the Invictus Games, an international sporting event for wounded soldiers held in London this month, may have inspired the donation.
Some 300 lots have already been received for the auction with cartons arriving daily.
People are being encouraged to make further donations of anything they consider valuable and volunteers are also needed to help with the project.
For more information, contact James & Sons at 5 Norwich Street, Fakenham, call 01328 855003, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.greatcharity.org
Do you have any information about where the gold medal may have come from?
E mail email@example.com or call 01328 862678.