The Origin of the Challenge Coins
The tradition of the challenge coin dates back to Ancient Rome. It was known that an enlisted soldier who fought bravely in battle would be typically rewarded with money, and would receive a separate coin as a bonus. Stories have claimed that the separate coin bears the insignia of the legion where it originated from. This had led some soldiers to keep their coin as a memento, instead of spending it on wine and women.
Another story that tells how the challenge coins came to be today was back in World War I. The challenge coin that we know today has now stood as an identification badge signifying loyalty to an organization or legion when the medallion of an American pilot saved himself from an execution by the French. After being shot down by the German forces, this pilot made his escape to France — but not without being apprehended by the French. He was was believed to be an enemy spy, supposed to be executed until the pilot showed them his medallion to prove his innocence. A French soldier recognized the symbol engraved in his medallion, confirming his identity — thus delaying his impending death.
The ‘Challenge’ in Challenge Coins
The origin of the so-called “challenge” goes back to post-World War II era among American soldiers posted in Germany. They adopted the local tradition of doing “pfennig checks” or “coin checks” in bars. It involved a challenger slapping the coin against the surface of the table to initiate the challenge, and if the other party or individual didn’t produce a coin of his own to prove his membership, he must treat everyone with challenge coins to a round of beer.
Uses of Challenge Coins
The uses of custom coins in the military have become more nuanced over the ages. Although challenge coins are still used as tokens of appreciation for excellent performance in their duties as members of the legion, some officers got into the business of exchanging them with their fellow servicemen like an item they can add to their collection.
Traditionally, a challenge coin was used by soldiers as proof of their membership to a particular unit. But nowadays, soldiers use them as a tool for publicity or as means to increase fundraising by handing them out to civilians or selling them.
Challenge Coins from ChallengeCoins4Less
A challenge coin or a custom coin is a small medallion or token that is usually around 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter, and about 1/10 inch thick. However, it can come in various shape and sizes like shields, arrows, or dog tags. Custom coins can be made out of a variety of metal finishes like silver, copper, pewter, or even a combination of both metal styles. Different custom cut edges and engravings can be incorporated to give the challenge coin a unique design.
One of the known manufactures of challenge coins is ChallengeCoins4Less. We vow to deliver quality custom coins with the mold and design that you specifically requested. We have done all sorts of challenge coins for different organizations/agencies/legions — the military challenge coins, police challenge coins, fire department coins, and even corporate coins. Our notable clients include NASA, the US Army, the Department of Navy, the UNDP, and Symantec.
You can check out our website (www.ChallengeCoins4Less.com) to see our selection of customized options you can choose from to determine the result of your coin. You have the choice to decide on the metal finish, custom cut edges, and engravings of your custom coin. In just two to three weeks, your challenge coins can arrive right at your doorstep, even in casings or packaging of your choice. If you are within US grounds, there will be no cost in shipping.
It is also very easy to submit a design in ChallengeCoins4Less.com ; no need to use special or complicated image formats since we mainly work on a PC platform. A .jpeg or .pdf file will suffice. Although the pricing of the custom coin will vary, depending on the size, shape, finish, etc. you are allowed to request as many revisions in artwork or design as you need without any additional costs.
Moreover, you can get a quick quote from us today. In less than 24 hours, our customer service will immediately reply to any clarifications you may have or information you want. By filling out or no-obligation free quote form in our site, a design proof can be sent back as soon as possible.
ChallengeCoins4Less does not charge customers for design, artwork, or revisions. It is only until after we have gained your final approval on the design and that you are ready to order that we quote the price and begin working on your custom coin.