Chances are, you may have seen military challenge coins and thought about how cool they are. Honestly, they’re pretty stunning. But you may be asking yourself, “ What is a military challenge coin”?
Well, there’s an extensive answer to that question. With that said, take a look at the content below to learn more about military challenge coins and their origin.
What Is a Military Challenge Coin?
A military challenge coin—also known as a unit coin or an identification coin—is a small coin bearing an organization’s insignia. It’s an emblem carried by the organization’s members. In addition to their military purpose, challenge coins are also used as icebreakers and collectibles.
These coins have been around for centuries, beginning in Roman times. Back then, it was common practice to create military designs on medallions that represented each group.
Early military jet aircraft crew chiefs often carried these types of silver-plated tokens in their jacket pocket to show other military service members. Today, they come in all sorts of materials, from very inexpensive stamped metal to fine crafted sterling silver. Also, they are keepsakes for military members to take home after completing military training or tours of duty.
The Significance of Military Coins
The military challenge coin today is a striking memento of military service and brotherhood. These prized tokens were originally used to show a member’s presence when called for in a military setting. The coins would be requested as proof of membership by another military branch member.
The custom was born out of convenience, but carried with it a profound new meaning: commitment and loyalty. In earlier days, if someone lost their military challenge coin, they might get punished for it.
A military challenge coin is created when an individual member of a military branch has one made with his insignia displayed on it. That way, he will never forget the commitment he’s made to his fellow servicemen and women.
Furthermore, he won’t lose sight of his own identity as part of that family. Having your own personal military coin is a military custom. It’s easily traced back to the military challenge coin’s military origin.
Military members today still carry these special coins with them in recognition of their military duties.
Distributing Military Coins
In many military branches, only commissioned officers are allowed to have military challenge coins. They’re made for distribution among their fellow branch members.
In other words, if you’re enlisted in a particular military branch, you cannot order your own military challenge coin. Unless, however, you’re commissioned. This way, everyone receives a customized commemorative gift instead of going out and ordering one for themselves.
It’ll bear the insignia of that particular member’s individual military branch, along with his name or rank on it
When a military challenge coin is presented to another military member, the owner of that military coin must prove its authenticity. It must be done before being allowed entry into a military base or event.
If they cannot produce their own military challenge coin upon request, they are not admitted onto the premises. Furthermore, military members from other branches must also be able to prove its authenticity. Otherwise, they’ll risk disciplinary measures. Discipline includes seeing the court martial and fines.
Purchasing Military Challenge Coins
Military challenge coins are tokens of military appreciation that can be displayed on military uniforms. They’re also worn around the neck on a chain or tucked into a pocket.
They began as military commemorative items and quickly evolved into more than just military thanks. Nowadays, military challenge coins have become collectors’ items. Anyone who has had an opportunity to receive a military-style coin will tell you that they’re really cool!
But they don’t come easily. Whether you want one for yourself or you want to give one as a gift, your first step should be making sure that you know how to buy military challenge coins. This guide should help get you started.
Step 1: Decide What You Want On Your Coin
This is really up to you. A lot of people prefer their military challenge coin personalized with emblems that are special to them. They’ll also get a coin that represents an aspect of their military career.
Other collectible options include limited edition coins, multi-level coins, silver-plated coins, and photo challenge coins. These types of military challenge coins are rarer than the others. That’s because they’re harder to make! If you want one on your own, start saving up some money.
Step 2: Make The Purchase
Now it’s time to buy military challenge coins. Like anything military-related, they are available at military surplus stores. You can find them at military base exchanges and online military supply websites as well.
If the coins are personalized, be sure to include all relevant information in the “special instructions” section of your order. Doing so ensures that the appropriate emblem can be added.
Step 3: Pass Them On
You can now pass on your military challenge coins to anyone who deserves special military recognition. And now you know how to buy military challenge coins so no one has to miss out!
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Collecting Military Challenge Coins
Hopefully, the content above answered your question of, “What is a military challenge coin”? The great thing is that even if you were never a service member, you can enjoy the perks of collecting challenge coins.
It’s fun, exciting, and a great way to honor military personnel.
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