To commemorate the centenary of Albert Einstein’s birth, UNESCO minted a commemorative medal in 1979. The work of the French engraver Max Léognany, the medal’s obverse features a portrait of the scientist in his later years. On the reverse, a silhouette of Einstein’s head forms the backdrop for three of the mathematical equations that sum up his essential contributions to physics.

The best-known equation, E=mc², established a fixed, quantitative relationship between energy and matter as determined by the square of the speed of light. The second equation symbolizes the results of Einstein’s research on the law of the photoelectric effect, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921. The third stems from his work on the theory of relativity. His signature is at the bottom of the medal.

UNESCO confers the Einstein medal on outstanding figures who have made a major contribution to science and international cooperation.

Available in gold, silver and bronze

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