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Mock Coin of Marco Polo
Marco Polo coins proves top seller

By MIA URQUHART
Times Globe staff writer

   The Marco Polo was once the fastest in the fleet, now it's the hottest seller in the set.
   The $20 sterling silver coin is the top seller in the three-coin transportation series issued a year ago by the Royal Canadian Mint.
    The Marco Polo sold 14,928, said mint spokesman Phil Taylor, while the train sold 12,879 and the car sold 11,767.
   The series was launched in Saint John on April 17, 2001, on the 150th anniversary of the launching of the famously fast vessel that was built in Saint John.
   The land, sea and rail series for 2001 also includes the Russell Light Four Model L. Touring Car built by the Canadian Cycle & Motor Company Ltd., and The Scotia coin, featuring the first locomotive in Canada to be built with a steel boiler.
   Marco Polo enthusiast Barry Ogden spent years lobbying the mint to strike a coin in honour of the ship. He's not surprised by the coin's success.
   "I guess people really like this story. It's a powerful story and it has universal appeal. "
   The minting of the coin nearly completes Mr. Ogden's dream of everything Marco Polo. The list of Marco Polo projects includes a stamp - which sold 16 million - a film, a book, a Web site that has had 25,000 hits in a year, a musical suite, a monument, and a musical. The only thing missing is the replica.
   With the success of the coin, the stamp, and the Web site, Mr. Ogden said the Marco Polo has already proven to be a good seller.
    He hopes those working on plans for Saint John's waterfront will recognize the appeal of the Marco Polo legend and set aside a place on the waterfront for a replica to be built.

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