The exquisite, jewel-like medals have been designed by three students from Birmingham’s School of Jewellery.
The designers took inspiration from the journey that athletes take to reach their goal of competing at the Games, and so embossed areas, symbolising an aerial map of the host region’s road and canal network, have been included as a key feature of the design.
The medals are being manufactured by Toye, Kenning and Spencer in Birmingham’s world-renowned Jewellery Quarter, a location which is included on the Birmingham 2022 marathon route and is just a stone’s throw away from Arena Birmingham, one of the key venues for the Games which will begin on 28 July.
The medal was designed by a group of students led by Amber Alys, with Francesca Wilcox and Catarina Rodrigues Caeiro also part of the winning team that has designed the ribbon and the box for the medal too.
The three students, along with dozens of others, individually entered a competition organised by the School of Jewellery and the Birmingham 2022 team, and as they moved through the judging process, they were brought together as a team.
The medal and ribbon have been designed with all athletes competing in the 19 sports and eight Para sports in mind. The medal has been created so that is it textured and has a tactile quality, so all athletes, and especially those with a visual impairment, can feel the design. The ribbon attached to the medal is also adjustable, so that it sits comfortably when worn, no matter the height of the athlete or Para athlete wearing it.
Amber Alys, the lead designer for the medal, spoke on behalf of the design team and said: "It has been incredible to see our designs come to life, and we're delighted with the medals, ribbons and presentation boxes.
“We really thought about the athletes when designing the medals – the connection between athletes and the journey they go on to achieve their dream of standing on top of the podium. “We wanted to create something with a jewel-like quality so that the athletes had something that they could treasure for the rest of their lives. We really hope the athletes like them.”
The designs that all of the students submitted were judged by a panel of experts including Para sprinter and Athletes’ Advisory Committee member, Katrina Hart, Councillor Jayne Francis, Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture, Delvene Cockatoo-Collins, who designed the Gold Coast 2018 medals, and Dame Louise Martin, President of the CGF.
Dame Louise said: “These stunning medals will be the ultimate prize for every athlete competing at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. I would like to congratulate Amber, Francesca and Catarina, the three talented students from Birmingham’s School of Jewellery, for winning the competition to design the medals and creating an iconic prize for our athletes. Manufactured in Birmingham’s world-renowned Jewellery Quarter, these medals represent the very best of the city, the country and the Commonwealth.”
Toye, Kenning and Spencer, a family-owned Jewellery Quarter business that has been based in Birmingham for more than 200 years, has been chosen as the medal fabricators. The company is also making the adjustable gold, green and blue medal ribbons, which feature a celebratory confetti pattern, in their Bedworth factory.