The Crane is the third of the legendary Shaolin kung-fu fighting styles in Mint XXI’s silver coin series

The origins of Shaolin Kung-fu are still debated today. Some say it appeared in the early 6th century, imported by an Indian monk, Bodhidarma, who had created a group of 18 exercises for the development of a strong body. Others say it came from a long history of martial arts in China, dating back over three millennia. Whatever the case, it was in the Yuan Dynasty (1260-1368) that the famous five animal-based fighting styles were created,

Each of the five – Dragon, Tiger, Crane, Leopard, Snake – represents a different way of training, from those that promote the bones, or the sinews, to those that favour development of speed or flexibility. Each has their own fans, not just in the martial arts world, but also in the movie world, where the Shaolin animal styles have been a popular trope for decades.

Mint XXI has already introduced Shaolin Tiger and Shaolin Snake coins, and the third of the five is the Crane, and it’s another super piece. The Crane-style is said to prioritise accuracy, balance, and speedy strikes, although is generally more defensive than the other styles. The coin depicts a Shaolin monk, holding a fighting stance of the crane-style, behind who is an otherworldly crane, wings outstretched in harmony with the monk. A pair of fighting cranes face-off in the background.

The eye of the crane is inset with a Swarovski crystal, a series signature, and a small gilded disc holds the Chinese character for crane. A terrific piece of art, filled with detail, and making great use of high-relief to accentuate depth. The obverse, common to the series, depicts the five animals together against a view of a Chinese temple. The whole two-ounce coin is antique finished, and comes boxed with a certificate of Authenticity. The mintage will not exceed 500, and the latest entrant in this fine series is available to order now.

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS High-relief, gilding, inset crystal
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes