The smallest town in the world gets the smallest coin in the world.
The Croatian town of Hum, situated in the heart of Istria and known as the smallest town in the world, shows up on the smallest* coin in the world, which has just been issued by the Croatian National Bank and minted by the Croatian Mint.
The diameter of the gold coin is 1.99 millimetres and it weighs only 0.05 grams.
The smallest coin is part of a gold numismatic set, along with a one ounce gold coin with the motif of the Višnjan Observatory. The observatory in Istria is amongst the top five observatories in the world in collecting more near-Earth object (NEO) measurements.
The numismatic set is issued in a limited series of only 199 pieces, these sets being the last commemorative gold coins issued with the Croatian kuna face value.
The face value of the Hum gold coin is one kuna, and of the one ounce Višnjan coin is 1000 kuna.
Valuables need to be discovered
The exclusive packaging that holds this valuable set was developed with attention, designed by the Croatian studio Design Bureau Izvorka Jurić. The LED lights shine light on the box, giving an impression of the night sky, enhancing the gold coins themselves. The set contains a pair of gloves and a magnifier for observing the smallest coin.
The making of the smallest coin
In order to mint the smallest commemorative gold coin in the world*, phases of the production process had to be adjusted. The process began with the development of the motif of the coin. In cooperation with the author, sculptor Ana Divković, we created a display of the motif detailed enough to show an entire town within a 1.99 mm diameter, yet technically feasible.
Through a special treatment, we created the smallest die for the smallest coin. The motif was engraved using Acsys’ most advanced Femto laser and their “pulse forging” technology and the smallest coin was minted on the modern automated Sack & Kiesselbach press.
In case of such small dimensions, there is little space for material flow. Therefore, adjusting the blanks for minting gave us an adequate void filing, enabling the final print. Lastly, the coins were minted one by one. After minting, the print was controlled in detail using the microscope.
Take a look at the whole story of the coins.
Damir Bolta, President of the Management Board of the Croatian Mint:
“Preparation for euro coins production forced Croatian Mint to focus all strength on euro. As a final memento, before entering the large family of the euro zone community, to proudly mark the change of currency, Croatian Mint managed to produce the smallest numismatic coin in the world: 1.99 mm in diameter, 0.05 g in weight, a 1 kuna gold coin that represents Hum, known as the smallest city in the world.“
Goran Paladin, Director of Production of the Croatian Mint:
“The main idea behind this coin was to show that Croatian Mint, a newcomer on the market of cutting edge commemorative coins, could produce a coin like any other mint in the world. This is why we made this coin the smallest and were able to place an entire city on it. Also, Hum is known as the smallest city in the world, so it was a perfect fit for our coin.”
Ana Divković, sculptor, author of the Hum coin:
“The starting point was reducing the motif almost to a tiny yet readable sign. The obverse shows the door handle of the entrance door to the city of Hum, in the form of the boškarin ox head, since the handle indeed is shaped in this way. On the reverse, I dared to place the entire city to show how tiny it is. I relied on the arts and crafts of the masters at the Mint in developing this design, because Croatia is a small country of very skilful people.”
Nikola Vudrag, sculptor, author of the Višnjan coin:
“The greatest challenges in designing this coin were the ones invisible to the eye; the reflections of the edges of houses and the boškarin ox muscles on the reverse, which were sensed rather than seen when crafting the cast model. The most difficult of all tasks was hiding the tiny telescope within the observatory window on the obverse. Since not all stars are always visible with the naked eye, the telescope within the observatory window is also perhaps not easily seen, yet it is there, like an eye looking out into space, looking out on us.”
The gold numismatic set is issued in a limited mintage of only 199 pieces and is available in the Croatian Mint’s webshop and via their partners, as well as with their international wholesale distributor Germania Mint.
*From what Croatian Mint have gathered so far, they can say that the Hum gold coin is the smallest commemorative coin in the world.