World Coins

Hungary releases coins highlighting role of researchers

Hungary celebrates the role of two Hungarian scientists in developing the messenger RNA technology used in COVID-19 vaccines with two new coins, including the copper-nickel 3,000-forint coin shown.

Coin images courtesy of the Hungarian Mint. Background image from

Messenger RNA (mRNA) played a key role in COVID-19 vaccines, which have been used to contain and overcome the global pandemic in parts of the world.

Hungary highlights the role of two Hungarian researchers in the development of mRNA-based vaccines with two commemorative coins.

Katalin Karikó was responsible for making it safe to introduce the mRNA molecules into an organism, while Norbert Pardi figured out how to solve the problem of overcoming instability when introducing mRNA into an organism, by packaging the molecules in a lipid nanoparticle.

To honor their accomplishments, the Hungarian Mint is striking an Uncirculated copper-nickel 3,000-forint coin and  Proof .925 fine silver 15,000-forint coin, both titled “The Hungarian discovery forming the basis for mRNA vaccines.”

The square coins are oriented as a diamond, with a stylized depiction of two modified mRNA spirals on the obverse, and the essence of the discovery, a modified nucleoside mRNA lipid nanoparticle, containing the modified mRNA spirals, on the reverse.

A magnification of the mRNA spirals is featured next to the lipid nanoparticle, the fat molecule in which the RNA is packaged. The legend translating to “modified nucleoside mRNA lipid nanoparticle” is inscribed below them. Under the legend,  is a stylized depiction of an mRNA spiral.

Around the edge are the names of several scientists instrumental in the research, KARIKÓ KATALIN, DREW WEISSMAN, PARDI NORBERT, and IAN MACLACHLAN, in a clockwise direction, separated by dots. All but MacLachlan, who is a Canadian biotechnology scientist, are affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Both coins measure 38.61 millimeters square in size.

The copper-nickel coin weighs 28.5 grams and has a mintage limit of 15,000 pieces. It retails for $22.95.

The silver coin weighs 31.46 grams and is limited to 10,000 pieces. It sells for $83.75.

To order, contact the Hungarian Mint’s North American representative, Shipping and handling in the United States is an additional $5.75 per order.

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