How To Get A Challenge Coin

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Challenge coins are symbolic tokens that hold deep meaning and tradition, often associated with honor, friendship, and accomplishment. Originally, these coins had their roots in military history. Now, they have become popular beyond the armed forces. As a result, they are now cherished collectibles for individuals from many different backgrounds.

Do you want to get a challenge coin and join this old tradition? This guide will give you important information on how to get one. Additionally, we will explore the history of challenge coins, collecting strategies, custom designs, and proper etiquette.

Military Origins: Exploring the History and Tradition of Challenge Coins

The tradition of challenge coins dates back to ancient times, but it was in the military where they gained widespread recognition. Challenge coins are believed to have originated during World War I.

A wealthy officer gifted bronze coins to his squadron members as a sign of appreciation. One pilot, who kept the coin in a pouch around his neck, was later captured by the enemy. The pilot was fortunate; he escaped and reached a French outpost. His coin served as proof of his identity, which ultimately saved his life.

Since then, challenge coins have become a symbol of unity, pride, and loyalty among military personnel. Coins are a symbol of membership and a way to commemorate special achievements and events. They are often presented to members of a particular unit, squadron or organization.

Today, challenge coins are used in many different sectors. These include police departments, fire departments, and corporate organizations. The purpose of these coins is to create a sense of belonging and recognize exceptional achievements.

challenge coins

Collecting Challenge Coins: Tips and Strategies for Building Your Collection

If you’re interested in collecting challenge coins, there are several avenues you can explore. Here are some tips to help you build an impressive collection:

Research and Identify: Begin by researching different types of challenge coins and identifying the ones that resonate with your interests. This will help you narrow down your focus and set collecting goals.

Connect with Collectors: Join online communities, forums, and social media groups dedicated to challenge coin collecting. Engaging with fellow collectors will not only provide valuable insights but also open doors to potential trading opportunities.

Do you have any friends, family members, or acquaintances in the military? Reach out to them and show your interest in collecting challenge coins.

Connect with them through your military connections. They may be able to get coins from their units. Or, they can connect you with other servicemen who are willing to trade or sell coins.

Attend Events: Look for coin shows, military conventions, and historical exhibitions where challenge coins are often displayed or traded. These events are great for networking with other collectors. You can find a wide range of coins. You may even discover rare coins for your collection.

Online Platforms: Explore online marketplaces, auction websites, and specialized challenge coin websites. These platforms provide a vast selection of coins, including custom designs and limited editions. Be sure to research the seller’s reputation and originality before making a purchase.

Custom Challenge Coins: Designing and Ordering Personalized Coins

For individuals or organizations looking to create custom challenge coins, partnering with the best enamel pins manufacturer is crucial. The process of designing and ordering personalized challenge coins involves the following steps:

Conceptualize: Begin by brainstorming ideas for your coin design. Consider the purpose, theme, and elements you want to incorporate. Sketch rough drafts or use design software to visualize your concept.

Find a Reputable Manufacturer: Research and identify reputable enamel pin manufacturers that specialize in creating challenge coins. Look for companies with a track record of producing high-quality products and providing excellent customer service.

Artwork and Mockups: Work closely with the maker’s design team to create detailed artwork and mockups of your desired challenge coin. Collaborate on color schemes, text placement, and any additional features or embellishments you envision.

Material and Finish Selection: Choose the materials and finishes for your challenge coin. Common options include brass, copper, zinc alloy, or silver. Finishes can range from polished to antique, giving your coin a unique look and feel.

Size and Shape: Determine the size and shape of your challenge coin. Standard sizes are typically between 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter, but custom sizes are also available. Shapes can vary from traditional round coins to custom shapes that align with your design concept.

Review and Approval: Once the design and specifications are finalized, review the maker’s proof and mockups for your approval. Pay attention to details such as color accuracy, text clarity, and overall aesthetics before giving the green light for production.

Production and Delivery: After approving the final design, the manufacturer will begin the production process. Skilled craftsmen will use a combination of molding, casting, and enameling techniques to bring your challenge coin to life. Once completed, the coins will be carefully packaged and delivered to your desired location.

challenge coin

Challenge Coin Etiquette: Proper Handling, Display, and Trading Protocols

To fully embrace the tradition and respect the significance of challenge coins, it’s essential to understand proper etiquette:

When giving a challenge coin, it is important to shake hands firmly. Explain the importance of the coin, too. Presenting a challenge coin is a custom. Ensure the recipient understands the honor bestowed upon them.

Carrying: Challenge coins are typically carried in a pocket, pouch, or display case. Some individuals wear them on a lanyard or keep them in a protective holder. The key is to keep the coin easily accessible for spontaneous challenges.

Challenging someone with a coin is an act. It involves producing one’s own coin and requesting that others do the same. If someone does not have their coin, they must buy a round of drinks or do a certain task.

Trading and Collecting: Trading challenge coins with fellow collectors or military personnel is a common practice. When engaging in trades, be respectful and mindful of the sentimental value attached to each coin. It is considered courteous to exchange coins of equal or greater value.

Displaying: Showcase your challenge coin collection in a display case, shadow box, or coin rack. Arrange them in a manner that highlights their unique designs and stories. Avoid excessive handling to preserve their condition.


Acquiring a challenge coin allows you to embrace a tradition steeped in history, honor, and friendship. Understanding the significance of challenge coins is essential for various groups. Collectors, military enthusiasts, and organizations seeking to commemorate achievements can all benefit from this knowledge.

Conduct research to obtain enamel pins. Connect with fellow collectors to broaden your knowledge. Explore custom options with the best enamel pins manufacturer.

Follow proper etiquette.

You can embark on a fulfilling journey of obtaining and cherishing these symbolic tokens. Start your collection today and join the ranks of those who appreciate the timeless tradition of challenge coins.