The military have different traditions – from different festivals to different awarding, from giving away different medals to different ribbons. They also have one of the most anticipated and most special traditions which boost the harmony and the self-esteem of all their members: Giving away different custom challenge coins. Giving away custom challenge coins differs from one branch of service to another. It not only adds confidence to their members, these coins also help identify the unit where the soldier comes from.
Custom challenge coins are known for having different names. They are also called as unit coins, military coins, and commander’s coins. coins can be made of the cheapest materials but they can also be made of the most expensive and the best materials.
Nowadays, collection of coins are made by members of the military but they are also being collected by people outside the military as well. There are a lot of school clubs, business organizations, and different departments using such coins to signify their group. Although the designs are different, the concept of having these coins is the same with the military. They are still to recognize, to boost the confidence and morale, as well as to show gratitude to all the receivers of the coins.
If you are to compare these custom challenge coins to ordinary coins, you will find out that they can be either smaller or larger. Challenge coins’ sizes can be as small as 1 inch in size but can also be as big as 3 inches in size. They are also thicker than ordinary coins; these coins are normally ½ to 1 inch in thickness.
Challenge coins have different design variations, depending on the user’s preferences. They are not round in shape all the time. They can be in shapes of rectangle, square, oblong, heart or star.
There are also different kinds of materials which are usually used in order to make these coins. Different metals such as nickel, brass, silver, copper or gold are used to create these coins. These metals give a different finishing for the coins. If a coin is made of gold, they are considered as limited edition ones and they are often given to people who have the highest recognition.
These challenge coins can also be carved or engraved with different designs. Some coins have their military logo or unit name imprinted on the coin while there are also some coins which have a picture of a very important military figure imprinted on the coin. The design can be imprinted on either side of the coin. Some coins also have designs on both sides. Different colors can also be used in order to add more designs or to enhance the appearance of the coins.
Special Use of These Challenge Coins
The custom challenge coins have different uses; and one of the most popular uses of these coins is the Military Coin Challenge. Military Coin Challenge started way back in World War I. There were some American soldiers who used to play the “pfennig check-up” challenge. This challenge is played using a pfennig, Germany’s coin which has the smallest monetary value during the World War I. Once the challenge has been called out by a challenger, all soldiers within the vicinity must hand out a pfennig. If a soldier failed to show a pfennig during the challenge, he must purchase drinks for all the soldiers who successfully hand out a pfennig during the check-up.
This old military tradition was handed from generation to generation. However, from using a pfennig, they changed it to military coins. This tradition is practiced all over the military. This symbolic tradition is being practiced to ensure that all the members of the military are carrying their challenge coins at all times.