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01 April 2024

Fighting Arts on Today’s Coins, Medals and Badges: Popularity or Uniqueness

Background. Medallic art is used to promote the subject matter which is important for the issuer. Also fighting arts and martial traditions are used here as icons in the coins and medals. Problem. What is the purpose of occasional coins, medals or badges relative to their contents or symbolism, the metal used or the volume of the release? Does an issuer aim at promotion or rather at recognition and at maintaining the uniqueness? Material and Method. The study uses a regression method, comparative analysis and literature review. Approximately one hundred examples are discussed. Statistical analyses took into account N = 64 of contemporary coins (47) and medals (17), representing the relevant thematic groups. Pearson C coefficient was calculated for the factor of popularity FA and a number of variables. Results. It has been found that medals are issued in small volumes and are significantly varied in terms of the subject matter (uniqueness and originality). Some organisations seek to ensure the exceptional status of medal-type award which is granted based on strictly defined rules. Conclusions. Presentations of martial arts on coins, medals and badges make reference to the related symbolism or to the issuer’s national traditions. Large volume releases are mainly done for promotional purposes. On the other hand medals issued in small numbers are meant to be unique—they find their way to a select group of people deserving special recognition.

Keywords: Martial arts; Numismatics; Medallic art; Phaleristics; Symbolism