What is a challenge coin?

Hobbies are great ways to keep your mind occupied to avoid stress. With how easy it is for stress to catch up with us today, it’s important to keep yourself busy with different hobbies. What’s great is that hobbies today are easy to get into and there are many of them to choose from.

If none of the popular hobbies tickle your fancy, though, finding a new one is also easy. This is because new trends are reaching audiences easier thanks to the Internet. Among these trends is the challenge coin collection.

Collecting challenge coins as a hobby has been under the radar for quite a while. Most people are getting into it, though, because it presents them with the most challenging hobby they will ever face today. Find out more about challenge coins, their challenge, and what makes them special by reading our guide below.

1. What Is a Challenge Coin?

A challenge coin is about the size of a regular coin, around 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter. These come in different shapes, though, and have different alterations, too. This is because each coin serves as an emblem for an organization.

The original challenge coins came from military branches and served different purposes. Coins were only for identifying the branch of a soldier before. They served then as a morale boost along the line, as military personnel needed reminders whenever they found themselves in a tight situation.

The origins of the challenge coin tradition date back to the prime of the Roman army. Coins were monetary rewards for their soldiers to compensate for their services. Now, they are still a reward, but their purpose differs from the original intent.

2. The Original Purpose of Challenge Coins

People know modern challenge coins for a different reason than the Roman soldiers before. The story begins during the Second World War. American soldiers stationed in Germany started a local tradition called the “Pfenning check”.

Different outfits in the US army gathered in a local bar during their downtimes. Anyone could then call out for a check and everyone issued a coin had to take theirs out. The reason it’s called a “Pfenning check” was that a Pfenning is the lowest denomination of the German currency.

The soldiers adopted the name to give to their challenge coins. Whoever didn’t have their coin on them had to buy beer for anyone who had their coins. If everyone had their coins, then the challenger would be the one to buy the beers for everyone.

This was an important part of the war because it kept the morale of the soldiers high. Low morale for the soldiers would have meant a harder time in the front lines.

3. The Original Coin

There’s no official story to pinpoint the original coin, but one story comes up every time you someone that question. It’s a story about a pilot in the first world war. It starts when a wealthy officer gave bronze medallions with the insignia of the flying squadron to his men.

A young ace got shot down by the German army during a raid which led to his capture. They took everything from him besides a small pouch he wore around his neck. This contained the bronze medallion the officer gave his squad.

He escaped and made his way to France to brief his allies about what happened. They captured him, though, as they thought he was a German spy. The sentence given to him was execution, but the pilot wanted to plead for his innocence.

He presented the coin hoping someone would recognize it. To his luck, a soldier did and caused a delay in his execution. It gave him enough time for the French army to confirm his identity and take his report into account.

4. Where to Get Challenge Coins

Challenge coins were only attainable if you were in the military before. However, what is a challenge coin but a way for different organizations to showcase their members and insignias nowadays?

Getting a challenge coin for yourself is easier than before. You still need some training for most of them, though. This is because certain coins are in groups where you need to meet certain requirements.

The police force is a great example of this. They have challenge coins that you can only get by meeting certain standards. Fire department challenge coins also need requirements before you can get them.

What’s great is that there are organizations that also provide easy ways to get challenge coins. You can use them to get coins to start your collection.

5. Reasons to Collect Challenge Coins

Now that you know what challenge coins are and their importance, what makes them a great hobby? Here’s a list to tell you what makes them great items for collection.

More Coins to Collect

More organizations are creating a challenge coin to represent them nowadays. This means there are more coins for you to collect in the long run. There won’t be a shortage, making it a long-term hobby to invest yourself in.

It also means that there are many designs to admire. Even plain-looking coins will look great in a collection. This makes it so you have much to look forward to with challenge coins.

Great Story Behind Each Coin

You can only get some coins by doing something for an organization. This means that you can gather interesting stories on how you got certain coins.

This makes them great conversation pieces in the long run. It can even make you a great story-telling grandparent when your grandkids ask about them.

Rising Prices

Challenge coins are still a new trend today. This makes it easy for you to buy most of the coins on the Internet. This is because people don’t see the value in the yet.

Sellers will charge them low because they think few people will care about it. Gathering coins ensures that your investment will pay off once the trend rises. There will be more value in them as more people will try to buy rare challenge coins from you.

Collect More Challenge Coins Today

What is a challenge coin? We hope this guide provided all the answers you seek and more! Go out and collect all the coins you can!

Looking for more information about challenge coins? Continue learning more amazing tips and tricks by reading more of our guides and articles today!