The Canadian Gold Marco Polo coin is a continuation of the celebration of Canada’s legendary tall ships and historical shipbuilding expertise. In 1851 through 1883, Canada built the Marco Polo, which was the fastest ship in the world. Marco Polo the ship cruised to Liverpool from Saint John at a record 15 days, 3 hours in the summer of 1852. The Canadian Gold Marco Polo coin of 2016 is the second after the Amazon coin to celebrate the legendary shipbuilding prosperity of Canada along its East Coast. It was issued in commemoration of the 165th anniversary since Marco Polo was launched.
The Royal Canadian Mint, which is the exclusive mint and distributor of the Canadian Gold Marco Polo coin minted only 275 coins with a face value of 200 dollars. The coin is 31.16 grams heavy and has a serrated edge. With gold as the only component with a purity of 0.999, the actual gold weight of this coin is 31.16 grams 1 t/oz. The diameter of the coin is 30 millimeters.
The Canadian Gold Marco Polo coin has similar obverse features as the Canadian gold peregrine falcon coin, which was a predecessor in the tall ships’ gold series. The 2003 crownless effigy of Queen Elizabeth II facing to the right with the inscription, “SB” for its designer, Susanna Blake, covers the entire center of the coin. It is surrounded by the inscriptions, “ELIZABETH II”, “D · G · REGINA”, and “200 DOLLARS” are to the left, the right, and below the effigy respectively.
The reverse of the Canadian Gold Marco Polo coin is the work of the artist, Neil Hamelin. It contains a three-quarters portside angle of Marco Polo the vessel in full sail. The wind fills the vessel’s billowing sails as the masts rise high into the skies. The bow of the three-deck, 1,625-ton Marco Polo vessel is captured cutting through the waters. The small inscription, “NH” appears just atop the edge of the waters to the right. The inscriptions, “CANADA”, “2016” and “MARCO POLO” appear at the above, to the right, and below the Marco Polo image.