World Coins

Italy’s new coin shows explorer Marco Polo

Italy has honored Marco Polo on a 2018 Proof silver €10 coin.

Coin images courtesy of the Italian Mint.

Marco Polo was a merchant born in the Republic of Venice in 1254, and is considered one of the greatest voyagers and explorers of all time.

He now is the subject of a Proof .925 fine silver €10 coin issued by Italy.

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Together with his father, Niccolò, and his uncle Matteo, he traveled along the Silk Road and reached China. Marco Polo collected his travel journals and descriptions of the places he visited in the Book of the Marvels of the World, also known as The Travels of Marco Polo

His work inspired Christopher Columbus’ journeys and represented an important source of information also for the composition of the famous Fra Mauro map of the world.

The 2018 coin was designed by Silvia Petrassi. 

The obverse features a portrait of Marco Polo from a detail of a mosaic by Enrico Podio in Tursi Palace, Genoa. In the background are stylized elements of oriental architecture with floral decorations.

Around the border is the inscription REPUBBLICA ITALIANA; on the left is the family name of the designer, PETRASSI.

The reverse shows Polo and his family on their journey through the East to the court of Emperor Kublai Khan, in a composition with details of the miniatures drawn from the Book of the Marvels of the World by Marco Polo and Rustichello da Pisa, a work conserved at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris. Above is the inscription MARCO POLO and Chinese ideograms meaning “Marco Polo”; in the center, the letter R identifying the Mint of Rome; on the right, the value 10 EURO; in exergue, the year of issue 2018.

The coin weighs 22 grams, measures 34 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of 5,000 pieces. 

It retails for €55 and is available from the Instituto Poligrafico e Zecca di Stato, the Italian State Mint.

To order, visit the IPZS website

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