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What Is a Challenge Coin?: Everything You Need to Know

Hussain Ali

What are challenge coins? Challenge coins are small metal coins initially issued by the military as a challenge to other soldiers. They’ve since become popular with many organizations, particularly in North America, where they’re used as recognition awards.

Each member of a group carries the challenge coin to show membership in the unit. It’s also regularly displayed during meetings or ceremonies.

This is like a medal of honor that has your organization’s emblem on one side. The other side features an insignia of the challenge you’re issuing.

This article will discuss what is a challenge coin, who should carry them, and where to buy them.

What Is a Challenge Coin?

Challenge coins, also known as a coin check or simply a coin, are small medallions bearing an organization’s emblem. They’re made of metal and given out by unit leaders to promote morale and commemorate special occasions.

Their first usage began in World War I and World War II by the military.

Today, they’re used by just about any group or a military unit. They serve as a way for the individual to show pride and honor for their group.

They’re also used to commemorate special events such as holidays or anniversaries.

The tradition of using challenge coins as a physical representation of pride and honor has grown in popularity. More groups use them as a military tradition to be carried on.

How to Get a Challenge Coin

Getting your personal challenge coin is not hard at all if you know where to look. Several reputable online suppliers offer ready-made designs. Besides, you can get personalized coins that you can design on your own.

You can also hire someone to do it for you at a reasonable cost. And guess what, they might accommodate some special requests if you want them to.

There are several artists out there who would be glad to help turn your idea into reality. Just make sure that you consider what’s feasible and possible when describing the coin design.

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Aside from online suppliers, there are also coin dealers who can provide them at affordable prices. Usually, you can find a type of coins in this realm that come in various designs and styles. Since different manufacturers make them, you must check them out while buying.

Challenge Coin Etiquette

You must understand the etiquette behind using challenge coins. They are supposed to be given out in a precise manner, and there are certain rules that people must follow for them to have the appropriate meaning.

The first rule is that a coin should not be given to the individual receiving it but should be given by the individual receiving the coin. This is to avoid any misunderstandings of financial gain from the person receiving it.

To maintain the spirit of the coin, they mustn’t be worn as jewelry. Challenge coins were explicitly designed to be wearable on the uniforms of military personnel.

Here are more etiquettes that a challenge coin holder must be conversant with:

Tossing Coins

You should always toss coins in the air at least 2′ to 3′ high to make them easier to grab. Throwing them too close to your opponent next to you gives them an unfair advantage.

You shouldn’t flip or stack coins to see whose coin is better. Some may argue that this goes against the initial purpose of challenge coins. Yet, it’s becoming increasingly popular to stack or flip the coins before they’re given.

Sitting on a Coin

Sitting on a coin prevents anyone from playing. If you have already placed a coin down, this rule does not apply. But if only one opponent has all coins, it would be a good idea to inform that player that they cannot sit on their coins.

Grabbing a Coin

After picking up a coin, you should immediately grab the next one. If you take too long to pick up the coin, another player could grab it. It allows other players to get in between you and your opponent.

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Towering

This applies even if both players have coins vertical on top of one another. If there are coins already placed on the ground, then that is not considered a tower, and adjacent coins can be played on top of it.

Begging Coins

Begging coins is when a player picks up one or more of their coins and offers them to another player. This is in exchange for picking up one of their own that they cannot reach or hide.

However, this doesn’t apply if you’re playing with only two players and your opponent is sitting on all their coins. In this case, there would be no way to draw unless you both tower your coins vertically.

The last rule states that no one should use coins to determine coins whether an individual has performed their duty. This is considered inappropriate and may offend individuals who have served their civic duty.

While it may seem strange for challenge coins to have rules, they’re given out with the utmost respect. Anyone who does not follow these rules may appear disrespectful to others.

Benefits of Challenge Coins

Although these coins may not be common among most people, they offer certain benefits to their holders. This includes:

They represent the organization: The coin can be custom-made to show its emblem or insignia, along with other features that help represent the group.

Shows the length of your service to an organization: The coin is given as recognition for the group’s time and dedication.

Acts on Absence of an organization representative: They represent the organization in situations where no one is present. The organization may not provide someone to take part in an event due to scheduling conflicts.

Why Not Have Your Challenge Coin Customized Today?

It’s evident that challenge coins are a sign of honor, and you shouldn’t lack one. You can have the best challenge coin designers manufacture one with the shape and emblem you want on your preferred material.

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Want to learn more answers to questions like “what is a challenge coin?” Check out more of our blog for information and tips.


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