What is a Challenge Coin? 4 Things to Know
Have you ever seen a small, metal token that was emblazoned with a symbol or motto? If so, you witnessed a challenge coin. Many people carry these small tokens with them, especially in the military, due to their incredible value.
If you’re looking to start carrying a challenge coin of your own, you may be a little hazy on the specifics. Read on to learn four things to know about them!
Table of Contents
1. What Is a Challenge Coin?
Challenge coins are small coins or medallions, often given as a token of appreciation or recognition. They are typically given by one service member to another, but may also be presented by an organization.
The term “challenge coin” originated from members of the military who would carry them, meaning, to show the challenge coin issued to them. Challenge coins may be decorated with an image of a prized unit or individual, in addition to other special symbols of achievement.
Challenge coins have a long, storied history. Originating in the early days of the military, these coins were used as a symbol of pride and camaraderie within the unit.
It is believed that challenge coins were first used in the US in World War I, given as commemorative tokens to fallen soldiers. Over the years, they have become popular among military personnel, representing the membership and belonging to the unit.
Challenge coins are usually either round or shaped in a unique manner, made from sturdy metal and with intricate artwork on them. There are even companies that can produce custom coins to fit any need.
2. Benefits of Having a Challenge Coin
Challenge coins are significant as they define and commemorate military service and signify a member of an esteemed group or organization. Having a challenge coin is beneficial as it serves as a token of appreciation and a reminder of the value of service and accomplishments.
3. Uncommon Uses for Challenge Coins
These coins can also be used unconventionally. Notably, challenge coins can be used as an alternative to a handshake when making a “coin check” with another soldier. Custom challenge coin also serves as a reminder to stay connected to one’s service even after retirement and may even serve as collectibles or good luck charms.
Challenge coins have meaningful variations in design, purpose, and symbolism.
4. Challenge Coin Etiquette
Firstly, should you ever receive or purchase a challenge coin, always keep it in a safe place to show your appreciation for its honor and value.
Secondly, challenge coins should never be traded for money or something of value; rather, they should be gifted to recognize someone for a job well done or a milestone achieved.
Finally, anytime a challenge coin is presented at a gathering, participants should always offer a salute to the presenter and the coin itself. With these etiquettes, owners of these coins can be sure they are showing the proper respect and acknowledgment to such an honored possession.
Understanding Challenge Coin
A challenge coin is a special coin used to build esprit de corps amongst team members, to commemorate momentous occasions, or show appreciation for someone’s noteworthy contribution. These coins have a rich history and come in many sizes, colors, and styles; plus, there are plenty of companies that make them.
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