Are you looking for a unique and meaningful gift for someone in the military or law enforcement? Or, maybe you’re looking to start a new collection of your own. Challenge coins are a great option.
What is a challenge coin, you ask? A challenge coin is a small coin or medallion that is given to members of the military, law enforcement, or other organizations as a sign of membership, camaraderie, and bravery. These coins are often minted with the organization’s insignia or logo, and they are usually carried by recipients in a wallet or purse.
History of Challenge Coins
Challenge coins have a long and rich history. They are believed to have originated in the Roman Empire, and they were used as a way to reward soldiers for their bravery in battle.
The U.S. tradition of challenge coins started during World War I when the U.S. Army Air Service recruited large numbers of men. A wealthy lieutenant wanted to show his appreciation for the men who joined the force and ordered bronze medallions in the shape of coins. These coins are a traditional way to show a person’s service to his country.
Today, challenge coins are widely used in the military, including by Presidents and foreign dignitaries. Former President of the United States, Barack Obama, gave challenge coins to service members on Air Force One, and each president since Bill Clinton has carried his own.
Meaning of Challenge Coins
The meaning of challenge coins goes far beyond a token of appreciation. They also serve as symbols of solidarity. Military war veterans, for example, are often proud of their collections, some of which are even displayed openly.
The coins can also help maintain bonds between service members and it means a lot to members to receive one. Challenge coins are also presented by groups or organizations to commemorate special events or achievements.
How to Get a Challenge Coin
So how do you earn a challenge coin? There are a few different ways. The most common way is to be awarded one by your commanding officer or supervisor. You can also earn challenge coins by participating in competitions or challenges, or by completing certain tasks or missions.
There are a few other ways you can go about collecting challenge coins. Buying challenge coins from coin dealers or online retailers is always an option.
Custom Challenge Coins
There are various retailers that specialize in making challenge coins. You can find custom challenge coins for any occasion, from masonic groups to fire rescue and police departments. In fact, there are no limitations as to what type of coin you can order.
Challenge coins are commonly round, but you can choose any shape and material. They can range from pewter to 24K gold, and come in different finishes.
Challenge coins are also used as mementos by organizations, businesses, and civic groups.
Start Collecting and Gifting Challenge Coins
Service members carry their challenge coins around with them to serve as a reminder of certain events or accomplishments. If you know of someone who has gone above and beyond, consider giving one to them as a gift.
If you want to start your own collection, shop around and see if there are any that catch your eye.