United Kingdom

Switzerland unveils world's smallest coin measuring 0.12 inches and weighing one 500th of an ounce

Switzerland has minted a gold coin so small that you need to use a magnifying glass to see each side - one of which shows Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue at you.

State-owned Swissmint said that the 0.12-inches (2.96-millimetre) gold coin is the smallest in the world. It is similar in size to the combined thickness of two pieces of paper.

The coin weighs just 1/500th of an ounce (0.063 grams) and has a nominal value of 1/4 Swiss francs (about 20p). Its weight is comparable to that of two grains of rice.

You need to use a magnifying glass to see each side of the coin, minted by state-owned Swissmint. One of the sides shows Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue at you

The famous image of Einstein sticking out his tongue came on his 72nd birthday on March 14, 1951. United Press photographer Arthur Sasse was trying to persuade him to smile for the camera, but having smiled for photographers many times that day, Einstein stuck out his tongue instead

Swissmint said the coin, of which just 999 have been made, will be sold for 199 francs (£155) with a special magnifying glass so owners can see the famous physicist on its face. 

The famous image of Einstein sticking out his tongue was taken on his 72nd birthday on March 14, 1951. 

United Press photographer Arthur Sasse was trying to persuade him to smile for the camera, but having smiled for photographers many times that day, the scientist stuck out his tongue instead.

Swissmint said it wanted to push boundaries with the coin and stretch the limits of technology and achieve something unique.

It cited Einstein's determination and patience as reason for its remarkable coin.

Einstein lived mainly in Switzerland from 1895 to 1914, where he also completed his studies in 1900, at today's ETH in Zurich. 

In 1901, he was granted Swiss citizenship and in 1902 he found permanent employment as a technical expert in the Patents Office in Bern. 

It was in 1905 that he published what is probably the most famous formula in the world: E=mc2. It shows that energy (E) and mass (M) are interchangeable; they are different forms of the same thing.

The smallest gold coin in the world comes in specially developed packaging. Neither image on the minted sides can be discerned with the naked eye (pictured, the magnifying glass used to see the coin)

The obverse of the smallest coin therefore features the famous image of Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue, and the year date 2020. 

The reverse shows the nominal value of 1/4 franc together with the inscription 'Helvetia' and the Swiss cross, supplemented by the alloy mark 'AU 999.9' and the weight (1/500 ounce).

The smallest gold coin in the world comes in specially developed packaging. Neither image on the minted sides can be discerned with the naked eye. 

It comes with magnifying lenses and light, ensuring that you can examine the smallest gold coin while still keeping it safely stored.