To mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, scientists at the University of Glasgow have created the world’s smallest commemorative coin, made out of a tiny sliver of diamond.
The world's smallest diamond coin (credit: University of Glasgow / James Watt Nanofabrication Centre)
It wouldn’t get you very far down the local supermarket, but this nano-coin is an impressive feat of engineering. The image of the Queen’s head was etched onto a special polymer covering the diamond, and then the pattern was transferred to the diamond using a technique called ICP reactive-ion etching.
Forged at the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre, the diamond coin measures just 750 nanometres across, and around 2,600 billion of them would fit into a volume equivalent to that of a pound coin.
The coin was made just in time for this weekend’s celebrations, proving that even scientists aren’t immune to a bit of bank holiday fever.