Marco Polo Featured on New Italian Coins

29 Oct 2018  Mon

Italy released a new Proof .925 fine silver €10 coin featuring one of the greatest voyagers, Marco Polo. Designed by Silvia Petrassi, the obverse features a portrait of Marco Polo taken from a mosaic designed by Enrico Podio in Tursi Palace, Genoa. Glimpses of Oriental architecture and floral decorations can be seen in the background. Other inscriptions include REPUBBLICA ITALIANA and PETRASSI.

The reverse features Polo and his family approaching the court of Emperor Kublai Khan. The detailing is taken from the Book of the Marvels of the World by Marco Polo and Rustichello da Pisa, a work which is now showcased at the Bibliotheque Nationale de France in Paris. Other inscriptions include MARCO POLO, Chinese ideograms meaning “Marco Polo”; R for Mint of Rome; 10 EURO and 2018. The 22 grams coin has a diameter of 34 millimetres and a mintage limit of 5,000 pieces. It can be purchased for €55 from the Italian State Mint.

Born in the Republic of Venice in 1254, Marco Polo, his father Niccolo, and his uncle Matteo crossed the Silk Road and reached China. His observations and discoveries are recorded in The Travels of Marco Polo. His voyages and the famous Fra Mauro map of the world provided a lot of information to future explorers like Christopher Columbus.

Image Courtesy: Italian Mint

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