10/27/2011 09:29 EDT | Updated 12/27/2011 05:12 EST

Striking Gold: Britain's Royal Mint begins making medals for 2012 London Olympics

LONDON - Britain's Royal Mint has begun making the 4,700 medals that will be awarded during the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics.

The medals will each take 10 hours to make by a select team of designers, technicians and craftsmen in South Wales.

British artist David Watkins designed the Olympic medals. The front of the medal displays the Greek goddess, Nike, stepping from the Parthenon to arrive at the host city. The reverse contains five symbolic elements, including the River Thames, a symbol of London.

Jewelry specialist Lin Cheung designed the Paralympic medals.

Games sponsor Rio Tinto supplied the ore for the medals, which will be mined at its Kennecott Utah Copper Mine near Salt Lake City and from the Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia. Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics.