Bank of Croatia takes the title of world’s smallest gold coin from the Swiss Mint with a swansong issue smaller than a politician’s brain

In their first issue of 2020, the Swiss Mint debuted what was subsequently recognised as the Guinness World Record holder for the smallest commemorative coin in the world. It was an extraordinary piece, carrying the iconic image of Albert Einstein, and weighing just 0.063 grams, with a diameter of just 2.96 mm. That record has fallen.

The Bank of Croatia and the Croatian Mint have debuted a new two-piece set of gold coins, one of which smashes that record, and are the last commemorative coins to be issued in the Croatian Kuna (they move to the Euro on January 1st). Let’s start with the bigger coin, which weighs in at a traditional one-ounce in weight (31.1 grams). Rocking a pretty standard 32 mm diameter, its main face, by designer Nikola Vudrag, depicts the Višnjan Observatory, along with its coordinates. The obverse face carries a side profile depiction of an Istrian cattle, a long-horned species, along with a view of the Višnjan municipality, and the Croatian coat-of-arms.

The headliner of the set is the smaller coin. At just 0.05 grams, it weighs a tenth of a minigold coin, and is a microscopic 1/622nd of a troy ounce. The diameter of just 1.99 mm is just ridiculously small, and a triumph of micro-minting. Ana Divković has taken on the design challenge of this one, and its reverse face is themed around what Croatia claims is the world’s smallest city. These things are a little vague, of course, like what defines a city, for example, but a population of under 30 certainly puts it in the running. The drones-eye view of Hum looks neat enough, and the obverse carries on the Istrian cattle theme with a heads-on portrait of the animal, above the word Hum in Glagolitic script.

The whole set comes in a lush box, with LED lights in the lid to simulate a starry sky, complete with a small magnifier to take a closer look at the mini, minigold coin. A microscope would’ve been more useful… An extraordinary achievement, we’d be fascinated to see just how close the coin gets to the renders we have here. We’d love to borrow a sample of the tiny one to AgAuShoot, and I have just the lens for the job. Available now for a little over €3,000.



The world’s new smallest coin has a wonderful topic: the world’s smallest city. This city is called Hum, Colmo in Italian and Cholm in German. It is located on a hilltop in Istria. Its population consists of about two dozen inhabitants, perhaps a little more, perhaps a little less – even today people are born and die in Hum, which is why the number is constantly changing. Despite its small population, Hum has the right to call itself a city, because it has everything that made for a city in the past: a city wall, a self-elected government and its own laws.

Hum’s history dates back to the 11th century AD, when Count Ulric I, Margrave of Carniola and Istria, fortified the southern border of his territory with small castles. One of them was called Cholm. In 1102, it came under the control of the Patriarchate of Aquileia. The latter lost all its territories, including Hum, during the Venetian conquest in 1420. Hum then belonged to the Venetian maritime empire until it was dissolved by Napoleon in 1797. The 1815 Congress of Vienna put Istria, and with it Hum, under Austrian rule for one century. Then it became part of Italy, Yugoslavia and today Croatia – an eventful history for such a small city.

Today, Hum and its completely preserved city walls are a favourite tourist destination. They love to stroll through the two streets and visit all the historical buildings that tell the rich history of the world’s smallest city. (SOURCE: Croatian Mint)


The Višnjan Observatory, which is currently one of the most renowned institutions of its kind in the world, demonstrates how much of a difference a single person who lives their enthusiasm can still make today. The last 1000-kuna commemorative coin of Croatia of 2022 is dedicated to the institution.

The observatory was founded on 13 November 1992 by the Amateur Astronomical Society of Višnjan. The project was initiated by the Croatian teacher Korado Korlević. From the private observatory, amateur astronomers discovered an impressive 1,749 asteroids between 1995 and 2001! This makes Višnjan one of the world’s top five observatories when it comes to detecting near-Earth objects. The observation of near-Earth space is of utmost importance, especially because this is where asteroids are located that can be dangerous to our planet.

Besides the high number of discoveries, Višnjan takes special pride in the fact that many pupils visit the observatory every year and learn with a mentor how to observe the stars at night. Unfortunately, light pollution in Višnjan got so bad around the turn of the millennium that the astronomers had to relocate. Their new observatory is located further inland on a hill near the small village of Tičan.

According to medal maker Maria Filová DiS., the burning Phoenix features several feathered birds – the beak and claws of the eagle, the swan’s neck, and the peacock’s tail. The creature is accompanied by an English inscription PHOENIX. The coin does not have a classic coin frame, however, the relief is surrounded by decorative ornaments that pervade the entire collector´s cycle. Since the Czech Mint coins are issued with a foreign license of the island of Niue, the obverse side bears the name and the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, the nominal value of 5 DOLLARS (NZD) and the year of the issue 2020. (SOURCE: Croatian Mint)

DENOMINATION 1 KUNA (Croatia) 1,000 KUNA (Croatia)
COMPOSITION 0.9999 gold 0.9999 gold
WEIGHT 0.05 grams 31.103 grams
DIMENSIONS 1.99 mm 32.0 mm
FINISH Uncirculated Brilliant uncirculated
MINTAGE 199 sets 199 sets
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes Yes / Yes