Do you like collecting keepsakes or memorabilia?

Collecting things is a fun little quirk that all humans seem to have. As kids, we all had an affixation, from stamps, clips, cards, or soda caps. For some people, it's coins!

If you're in the military or part of an organization, you may have received a challenge coin at an awarding ceremony or special event. But what is a challenge coin, and what does it represent?

This article covers everything you need to know about challenge coins. Read on to find out more!

What is a Challenge Coin?

A challenge or medallion coin is a small metal coin with a special insignia. This insignia is often etched into the face of the coin. The organization can also have its motto engraved along the edges.

Most challenge coins are round, but custom coins can come in unique cutouts like flags or wings. Challenge coins consist of some kind of metal, often bronze, zinc, or brass. Some special coins can contain 24-carat gold.

History of the Challenge Coin

The origin of the challenge coin is unknown, but its most accepted history dates back to World War I. The Allied Powers distributed challenge coins to their soldiers as a form of identification. When a German spy captured a soldier, he released him after the soldier showed him his coin.

Other sources claim that challenge coins go as far as ancient civilizations. Roman generals awarded their soldiers medallions as a token of their appreciation for their courage and hard work.

Why Are They Called "Challenge" Coins?

The "challenge" part of the name comes from a game that soldiers used to play in Germany during World War II. They called in the pfennig check. Pfennig was German's most minor currency before the introduction of euros.

Stationed soldiers would call for a "pfennig check," and the last person to produce a pfennig would buy a round of beers for the group. This practice soon evolved into challenge coins with a small change in the game.

Anyone who forgets their challenge coin would buy a round of drinks. However, if everyone could show their coin, the challenger would buy the drinks.

Why Do People Use Challenge Coins?

In early military history, soldiers used challenge coins to prove their loyalty. Nowadays, however, anybody in the line of duty can receive a challenge coin as a "thank you" for their service. Aside from military challenge coins, you can find law enforcement and firefighter coins.

Getting a challenge coin was similar to a rite of passage. Challenge coins are only given to members of an organization or people who witnessed a special event. Challenge coins are special because you can only have one if you were there for that moment.

Challenge coins are also tokens of your accomplishments. Many people use their cons to bond or create new connections. Many companies also use challenge coins with a mark of their brand to celebrate important milestones.

Everything You Need to Know About the Challenge Coin

Challenge coins were a way to recognize an individual or a group for their hard work. It can be a great gift for company employees or a way to honour our friends who work in public service.

Did you enjoy this article? Consider checking out our other posts for more information.