Photo Credit: Courtesy Swissmint
Albert Einstein on a tiny, tiny 1/4 franc gold coin

Swissmint on Thursday announced issuing “a tiny gold coin imprinted with the face of Albert Einstein.” The 1/4 franc gold coin has a diameter of 2.96 mm and a weight of 0.063 grams. It features the iconic image of the scientist sticking his tongue out.

According to Swissmint, 999 Einstein have been produced, each to be sold for 199 Swiss francs ($205.24), accompanied with a magnifying glass so the satisfied buyers can actually see what’s on it.


Einstein, who was born in Ulm, in the Kingdom of Württemberg in the German Empire, spent parts of his life in Switzerland and acquired Swiss citizenship.

In 1895, at the age of 16, Einstein took the entrance examinations for the Swiss Federal Polytechnic in Zürich. He failed, but obtained exceptional grades in physics and mathematics. On the advice of the principal of the Polytechnic, he attended the Argovian cantonal gymnasium in Aarau, Switzerland, in 1895 and 1896 to complete his secondary schooling.

While lodging with the family of professor Jost Winteler, he fell in love with Winteler’s daughter, Marie. Albert’s sister Maja later married Winteler’s son Paul. In January 1896, with his father’s approval, Einstein renounced his citizenship in the German Kingdom of Württemberg to avoid military service.

In September 1896, he passed the Swiss Matura with mostly good grades, including a top grade of 6 in physics and mathematical subjects, on a scale of 1–6. At 17, he enrolled in the four-year mathematics and physics teaching diploma program at the Zürich Polytechnic. Marie Winteler, who was a year older, moved to Olsberg, Switzerland, for a teaching post.


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