A team of about 100 people, including sculptors and machine operators, worked in secret inside the Brazilian Mint to produce more than 5,000 medals ahead of the Games.
Once the hand-sculpted mold is scanned into a computer a CNC router, or a computer-controlled cutting machine, etches the metallic mold. Then the mold is put under a microscope for quality control before heading to the factory.
Factory workers then use a loud press machine to strike the mold with 550 tons of force -- three times -- to create the coveted round symbols of victory.
The gold medals go through an extra step called the "bath of gold." The gold medal is actually made of 494 grams of silver and 6 grams of gold.
A 2016 gold medal is only worth around $500 (£387), given the current market. Silver lives up to its name more than the gold. Each of the 812 silver medals produced this year contain 500 grams of sterling silver; with a podium value is about $305 (£236). The 864 bronze medals up for grabs in Rio this year contain 475 grams of copper a piece (95 per cent) and 25 grams of zinc (5 per cent) and have little monetary value
The last time Olympic medals were made of pure gold was during the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden.