Thanks to advanced technology, challenge coins no longer belong exclusively to military branches. Now, the civilian populations can enjoy the unifying qualities of challenge coins.
For any group of people, challenge coins still represent unity, allegiance, and excellence.
To put it simply, a challenge coin is a coin that has been specially designed for an organization. It is gifted to individuals to symbolize their membership within a group. A challenge coin can also be used to honor and reward people for special achievements.
Challenge coins tends to be small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. They are typically made of some type of metal and often carries the design of a specific organization.
Typically, the insignia of the organization printed or etched onto the faces of the coin. You can also have the motto of your organization etched into the rim of the coin. And thanks to technological advancements, you can also have the insignia enamel painted for a more striking design.
You can find challenge coins in a variety of shapes. You can also get challenge coins made out of zinc, brass and bronze.
In either narrative, challenge coins are meant to build lasting connections between people. They are meant to be symbols of unity and build morale. This is true between military groups and civilian groups.
The earliest use of challenge coins dates back to Ancient Rome. If a soldier performed well, he would be rewarded his day’s pay with a bonus coin.
The coin was said to bear the mark of the legion the soldier’s belonged to. As such, the coin was valued as a memento.
The lieutenant wore his medallion in a leather pouch around his neck so he would not lose it. During the war, his plane was shot down over Germany.
Although he survived the crash, he was captured by German soldiers and stripped of all his belongings. However, his pouch with his medallion remained with him.
Soon after, he managed to escape to a French outpost. Since he was not in uniform, the French soldiers believed he was an enemy soldier and planned to execute him. However, the lieutenant managed to save himself by showing them his coin with his unit’s insignia.
As such, it became a tradition that all soldiers carry a unit coin.
Initially, it started out with men bringing in used enemy bullets. However, it quickly got out of control when people began to bring in grenades and rockets. As such, challenge coins with a unit insignia became the safer, accepted form of proof.
Traditional challenge coins have different iterations throughout the military. Each military branch, individual units, groups, and even missions tend to have their own specially designed coin.
One of the most popular ways challenge coins are used nowadays in the military is through military leaders. Generals and the President of the United States have challenge coins that they hand out at will.
First responders have challenge coins to commemorate and honor their service. Specifically, law enforcement and firefighters use challenge coins to commemorate achievements in the line of duty.
Government agencies use challenge coins to recognize first responders. Typically, they are used to create a feeling of unity in times of loss and tragedy.
Civilians tend to use challenge coins in similar ways to the military and first responders. For a number of organizations, challenge coins can be used to create bonds and connections. They can also be used to recognize team members who perform well in the workplace.
Most recently, challenge coins have been actively used by corporations to emphasize their brand. Corporations have started to hand out challenge coins at events, trade shows, and conferences to spread brand awareness. They are, essentially, the new business card.
They make spectacular gifts that are unique and are sure to be treasured for years. For the service member or first responder in your life, show your appreciation with a challenge coin. Or use them to spread support for a cause or an organization.
Challenge coins can fulfill any narrative. If you are tired of standard business cards or flyers, let challenge coins tell your story. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.