Challenge Coins for Achievements

How Civilians Are Using Custom Challenge Coins

A great deal has been written about military challenge coins and their use in military units. The US Armed Forces have a rich history of military coin use dating back to the Vietnam War. But these days, there are many other organizations that use custom challenge coins to commemorate special events and milestones.

Non-military Organizations That Use Challenge Coins

Here are a few organizations that use custom challenge coins:

  • Law enforcement agencies, such as the New York Police Department
  • Fire departments
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (used to commemorate sobriety milestones) 
  • Harley Owners Group
  • Varian Medical Systems (used to recognize notable achievements) 
  • Media franchises (used to recognize milestones and provide opportunities to buy show-inspired memorabilia) 

As you can see, challenge coin usage reaches far beyond military personnel these days. A custom coin is a meaningful gift that will be treasured for years to come.

How Star Wars Fans Use Challenge Coins

The 501st Legion, nicknamed “Vader’s Fist,” is an international fan community of the Star Wars universe. These fans provide service in their local communities, dressing up as characters from the movies. They can be found dressed as Stormtroopers and visiting children in local hospitals, marching as a unit in parades, and so much more. 

The 501st use challenge coins to commemorate events that they have participated in, such as conventions. Many of the groups, known as Garrisons, have their own challenge coins that demonstrate membership. These are often swapped when large groups of the 501st converge at the annual Star Wars Celebration or DragonCon.

Recognize Individual or Group Achievements With a Custom Challenge Coin

Many corporations create challenge coins to recognize corporate milestones such as a particular number of years of service, or achievements such as outstanding customer service to the company’s clients. These commemorative coins then become part of the corporate culture and something that makes it more special to work for that organization.

Why Challenge Coins Are Meaningful Gifts

Some people have a drawer of knick-knacks that they have received from past corporate outings — things that just sit around, and even the kids won’t play with any of it because it is not especially interesting or meaningful in any way. No thought was put into the gift, and it was mass produced and dumped on a desk. 

However, a challenge coin is a very different sort of memento. No matter how they will be used, a challenge coin is carefully designed and crafted to commemorate a project well done or a milestone year. Rather than stick it in a drawer and forget about it, a challenge coin is more likely to be carried or displayed. It’s a gift that shows a high level of appreciation of a specific achievement.

How Custom Challenge Coins Are Created

When you order from Challenge Coins Ltd., your design idea will be handled by our team of experienced designers who will assist you with your custom challenge coin design. Want to embed your coin design in a bottle opener? No problem. Our staff will assist you in making all the decisions necessary to complete the production process and to bring your challenge coin idea to life.



How Do You Get Challenge Coins?

How to Get and Give Challenge Coins

Many groups will look into getting challenge coins for their members. Their origin is in military use, but these days, challenge coins are often used by non-military organizations and corporations. 

But just what is a challenge coin? Challenge coins are coins that leaders give to their team members for achievement, for overcoming difficult times, or as a way to show appreciation towards them for a job well done. 

Why Challenge Coins Are Meaningful

A custom-made challenge coin is an impressive and very personal gift. Receiving a coin can be very meaningful because it shows the recipient that their hard work and determination is appreciated. Challenge coins are a great option for use by law enforcement, military personnel and government agencies.

How to Give Challenge Coins to Others

You may want to give challenge coins to your unit members in a discreet manner. A traditional way is for the giver to put the challenge coin in their hand and shake hands with the intended recipient, passing the coin along during the handshake. Challenge coins are often awarded this way in the course of a ceremony, with the audience being none the wiser that the exchange has taken place.

Coin Checks vs. Giving Someone a Coin

Because of the very detailed rules of challenge coins, you have to be careful with how you handle them! 

  • Even just handing your coin to someone else is considered an act of giving it to them. 
  • Remember that you need to make it clear to the person if it’s a coin check or if you’re presenting them with a coin. 
  • For example, you should tell the person that you want them to look at your coin so they understand that it’s not a coin being presented to them.

What is a “coin check”? This is a challenge in which any member of the group who doesn’t have their challenge coin on their person has to buy everyone else a drink! A coin check is usually initiated when one person brings their coin out and slams it on the table. Everyone else then shows their coin.

Whether you are interested in military lore and culture, already use challenge coins in your group or agency, or are just interested in creating a fascinating new tradition in your organization, our highly customizable challenge coins make a perfect gift for those you lead.



Rules of Coin Checks

ID cards are most commonly used in modern times as a sign of membership to clubs, companies, schools and organizations. ID cards are flat and usually not very interesting, however, and are generally only good for things like being able to get into the gym. 

But what if you belong to an elite club that only its members understand? For many in the armed services, police, firefighters and other organizations, the measure of membership is a challenge coin. 

Challenge coins were traditionally associated with the military. These beautiful coins gave you the bragging rights to membership to some of the most elite clubs. Challenge coins represent where their owners have visited, experiences they’ve had, the life they’ve led, and the lifelong friends they found along the way. 

A Brief History of Challenge Coins

There is a huge debate about the first appearance of challenge coins as we know them today. They are also known as “command coins,” and the widespread use of these coins can be traced back to Vietnam. However, they have been around in one form or another for much longer. Military historians debate about whether the coins emerged during WWI or WWII. 

The earliest predecessor to the coins is traced to ancient Rome, where soldiers were paid daily after a battle. Although they were paid in coins, the soldier who stood out in the battle was awarded an extra coin. Most of the coins were explicitly minted for various military units.

During WWI, a wealthy officer made bronze medallions for his flying squadron and gave them to his men, who would hang them on pouches around their necks. During the Korean War, Colonel William Wilson “Buffalo Bill” Quinn made challenge coins for his men. The coins had a buffalo on one side and the regiment’s insignia on the other. 

Today, challenge coins are used to honor certain units and deployments. Their purpose has evolved from exclusively military use to also including such civilian uses as corporations and motorcycle clubs. 

What Are the Rules of a “Coin Check”?

A coin check is a ceremony to identify other service members. Traditionally, the ceremony was used to help a service member connect with other members. Here are some rules of a coin check:

  • The coin check is initiated by slamming the coin on a hard surface. Other members respond by slamming down their coins.
  • If you fail to respond, you must answer a penalty.
  • If everyone responds to the coin check, the challenger is penalized.
  • Coin checks can be issued at any place or time.
  • Losing a coin or giving it away does not grant you immunity from coin checks.

If you have a challenge coin, ensure that it is always on you since you never know when the next challenge is. The rules always apply!

How Do You Care for Your Challenge Coin?

Whether you have an army challenge coin or one that commemorates a special achievement in your career, it needs to stay in its best shape so you can show it off for years to come. Here are a couple of things you need to know to keep challenge coins in good condition:

  • Direct sunlight is not good for your coin if it has paint on the exterior, so keep the coin away from sunlight.
  • Bleach is a powerful reagent on the coin. When washing the coins, avoid using bleach since it can damage the paint or finish on the coin.
  • Soak the coin in distilled water since it is gentle on the material. Soak the coin for a day, and gently rub it with a soft toothbrush. Place the coin back into the water to get rid of all grime.
  • Olive oil can also be used to clean the pesky spots. This process is slower and should only be used when no other method works. Soak the coin in the oil for a week and change the oil when it starts changing color. Subsequently, wash the coin with soap and water.

What Happens If You Lose Your Challenge Coin?

Challenge coins need to be kept on your person as much as possible, and especially whenever there is a better than average chance of a coin check occurring! 

There is no excuse for losing or giving away your challenge coin. Once you lose it, you need to replace it. In the meantime, you’ll be buying a lot of drinks for the other members. 



Storing and Caring for Your Challenge Coin Collection

Your challenge coins are a beautiful reminder of your service to the United States, to your company or fraternal organization, or to the world. They’re an important reminder of milestones in your career and the relationships that you have built. This is not an ordinary coin collection locked up in a safe deposit box somewhere. You want to put them on display, but how?

Who Collects Challenge Coins?

Military challenge coins were initially used to identify soldiers from specific units to sentries on the battlefield. When initiating a coin check, the soldier being challenged would produce a coin to identify his unit. While challenge coin history is rooted in the battlefield, their use has grown into a symbol of respect and service, traded freely between individuals from different organizations and often awarded to recognize exemplary service.

Challenge coins have continued to evolve, and are used by law enforcement, fraternal organizations such as the Masons, sporting teams, corporations or even individuals who mint their custom coins for sale or trade. We can help you design and mint your own unique challenge coins.

While there is a great deal of military etiquette surrounding the use of challenge coins, their broad appeal and use by hobbyists mean that there are no hard and fast challenge coin rules today. There is a thriving marketplace involving collectors from all walks of life all over the world.

How to Store Challenge Coins to Protect Them

Your coins should be stored away from heat, light and moisture. They should be handled rarely and gently, cleaned with a soft cloth with a solution that will not damage the enamels, metals and alloys that the coins are manufactured from. Taking good care of your coins will prolong their life and preserve their value. Be careful not to accidentally drop your coin while handling it. We have several products available to store individual coins, such as sleeves, boxes, pouches, etc.

There are albums designed specifically for challenge coins made by the US Mint, Dansco and others. These albums have rigid pages that allow viewing multiple coins on each page. If this method of display does not appeal to you, you could make your own.

How Do You Make a Challenge Coin Display?

A simple challenge coin display case can be made by placing them on a rich felt or velvet liner within a shadow box, under glass. Or, if you’re not “crafty”, you could purchase a veteran-made display online.

Whether you choose to purchase an album or construct one of your own, we recommend that you display your challenge coins proudly while protecting them from the elements.



Civilian Challenge Coin Uses You Might Not Know About

Challenge coins are everyday rewards in the military. Now, other sectors are getting in on the act. Now is an ideal time to learn more about these unique items.

What Are Some Non-Military Challenge Coin Uses?

Challenge coins are popular as corporate awards, for fraternal orders, and for commemorating sports events like specific tournaments.

Many civilian organizations, like the police and fire departments, use them extensively to reward service. They’re also increasing rapidly in the business world since companies have discovered their motivational appeal.

Some corporations even use them to memorialize events and to thank customers. There are few limits on how to give them away. The main appeal should be to convey a sense of history and tradition, and the design should demonstrate the purpose of the reward. Anyone who glances at the coin for even a moment should have no trouble deciphering its meaning and purpose.

The History of Presidential Challenge Coins

Presidential challenge coins are unusual because they’re given out directly by the United States President, in some instances. Fortunately, anyone who wants one can also purchase them as a keepsake.

Each president designs the coins slightly differently and gives them out for different reasons. They are a fascinating subject, and people who receive them cherish the gift.

When Is a Challenge Coin Not a Coin?

Challenge coins come in lots of different shapes now, and not all of them are reminiscent of coins. For example, you may find challenge bottle openers if you look. Although that might sound somewhat outside of the bounds of the coin tradition, it shows that the art of challenge coins is expanding.

Corporate challenge coins can incorporate any needed design elements. Companies may decide to integrate components like their logos or other recognizable shapes to increase branding. Their objective is to ensure that their custom coin is memorable and eye-catching. Each unit coin should be worth keeping for the recipient.

Challenge Coins Memorialize Outstanding Service

It’s common for the fire department, military organizations, Air Force, service members, law enforcement staff, and others to give out traditional coins with historical designs. It’s not uncommon for military challenge coins to commemorate a World War or the Vietnam War. There’s even a coin the Challenger crew will hold dear.

It’s possible to memorialize any event in this manner. People love getting them because they recognize outstanding service. It’s a way for an organization to thank people, and the tradition works well across an extensive range of industries.

Interested in creating challenge coins for your organization? You can always get help with your design, so don’t be afraid to dream big. You’ll have to come up with some of the ideas yourself, but we’ll give you plenty of help bringing those ideas to life! Contact us to find out how our service can assist.



How To Give A Challenge Coin: The Rules Explained

Challenge coins have a long and proven tradition of showing dedication and camaraderie to your military unit, government or fraternal organization. The history of challenge coins dates all the way back to Ancient Roman times, when soldiers were presented with special coins in appreciation for their service. In America, one of the first known instances of challenge coins appeared in 1917, when a volunteer squadron pilot’s life was saved thanks to the medallion he kept around his neck.

The United States soldier’s medallion proved to the French that he was not part of the enemy forces. The story goes that from that day every member of the unit had to carry their medallion at all times, or submit to a challenge by a member of the unit. These medallions are now known as challenge coins, and they have become a tradition throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

In the United States, the giving and receiving of challenge coins have become one of the most treasured honors that a service member can experience. Military challenge coins are collected by people around the world for historical interest and the quality of the design work. The tradition of exchanging military coins is important to the morale of the unit and is a sign of respect.

Members of the military or other organizations who hold challenge coins can participate in the tradition of doing a coin check. A coin check is normally a bar game in which one coin holder calls out the challenge. The game can be started by either rapping the challenge coin loudly on the bar or table or shouting it out. Be advised— it’s important to be aware of the consequences of starting a coin challenge, or else you may end up paying for a lot of drinks.

The basic premise of a coin challenge is for everyone to pull out their challenge coins at the same time. Owners of challenge coins should understand the rules of what the game entails, so that the game is fair for everyone. The challenger needs to also define how many drinks will be purchased by the loser of the game. Once the coin challenge has been initiated, it’s important to show your challenge coin by placing it on a hard surface or chair, but stay close to it. Some rules state that if you’re more than four steps away from your challenge coin, then it can be taken by someone else.

The rules can also vary depending on what branch of the military you’re in (or where you are in the world), but the gist of the challenge remains the same. The person who fails to present their challenge coin during the game gets the honor of buying all the players a drink. There are some important rules to know about when participating in a challenge. For instance, if you hand your challenge coin to someone, then it means you are giving it to them. Don’t make the mistake of losing your coin in this manner, and know the rules before you play. It’s best to show that you have your coin by placing it in the palm of your hand, holding it in your fingers or putting it on your table.

Challenge coins are an outstanding way to thank someone for their hard work. Whether you’re a member of the military, fire and rescue services or another organization, we can help you design just the right challenge coin. Our custom challenge coins are made from the highest quality materials, so they can be treasured for a lifetime.

When you present our custom made challenge coins at an award ceremony or as part of a unit commendation, you’ll know it will show a level of appreciation that can’t be defined. We’re dedicated to creating designs to showcase your military unit, club, or other organization by providing meticulous attention to detail in all the work we do. When you’re ready for the best challenge coins available, contact us for superior service.



How To Get Challenge Coins – Most Common Ways to Earn Them

Challenge coins are a long-standing tradition in the military, emergency services field, law enforcement and government organizations. These custom challenge coins are typically made from high-quality metal, like bronze or brass, with the military unit or organization’s insignia carefully etched into it. The coins are important keepsakes that are used to show allegiance, honor and respect.

It’s generally regarded as an honor to receive a custom challenge coin. It should be treated with care and kept with you at all times. Military members may be publicly awarded challenge coins by their unit leader individually or as a unit. Coins can be presented by any organization to show their appreciation for an individual’s hard work and dedication. Challenge coins are used by all branches of the armed forces, but they’re also used in the public sector too. Groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous commemorate sobriety with challenge coins, while civilian groups like the Boy Scouts use them for commemorative purposes alongside non-profits like the 501st Legion.

There’s no doubt that custom challenge coins are an excellent way to show camaraderie to your group. Whether you’re in law enforcement, military services or a civilian group, challenge coins are always appreciated. Historians have noted that the Ancient Roman soldiers gave and received medallions to boost morale. The most widespread and popular origin story of how challenge coins came into play in the military goes back to World War I. A rich lieutenant presented his American volunteer squadron with special medallions to signify that they were part of the unit.

One of the unit’s pilots was struck down behind German lines where the soldiers took away his identification papers. However, the pilot still had the medallion around his neck kept safely in a small pouch. He was able to escape to a small French outpost, but the people there were afraid he was a spy. The pilot was unable to prove he was American, but the medallion convinced the French to delay shooting him. The pilot was set free thanks to the medallion.

This may have started the coin challenge that’s still played today. After the pilot’s safe return, all of his fellow unit members were required to keep their medallions with them. The practice of doing a coin check meant that any unit member who was unable to show their coin had to buy the challenger a drink. If everyone was able to produce their coin, then the person who called the coin challenge bought drinks for the whole crew.

From that point and throughout the major conflicts like World War II, Korea and Vietnam, challenge coins have been used as a way to identify and reward military members. Current members of the Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, Army and Marines all have their own stunning custom challenge coin designs to keep with them as part of the military’s tradition.

There are several ways that you can get challenge coins. If you’re a member of an organization, then you may receive one as recognition of your services. Receiving a challenge coin is a memorable occasion that you will treasure. The practice of trading coins across military branches has become popular, and it’s a great way to meet service members from different units. There are many challenge coin collectors who buy this unique memorabilia to display in their homes. Collectors appreciate the history and intricate designs on the custom coins, and it’s not uncommon for some collectors to spend hundreds of dollars to complete their collections.

The most common way to get challenge coins is by playing the coin challenge game. Although the game is over one hundred years old, it’s still incredibly popular today in America, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Starting a coin check is easy, but be careful, because you may end up having to buy a lot of drinks. The initiator of the game can shout it out or use their coin to make a loud noise on the bar, table or floor. Dropping your coin by accident can also start the game, which is a good reason to keep your coin secured.

Anyone who has received a challenge coin should most likely already be familiar with the rules of the game, but you should make it clear how many drinks will be purchased by the loser. At this point, everyone participating is required to show their challenge coin. The coin should never be handed over to another game participant, because you’ll lose your coin. Hold your coin on the palm of your hand, in your fingers or place it next to you on a table. Another way to lose your coin is by leaving it on a table or chair and walking away, making it available to anyone who wants it.

If you lose the game but refuse to buy the required round of drinks, then you must turn in your challenge coin. That’s why it’s important to think twice before calling a coin challenge, since it can get expensive. Coin challenges can be called out in any location and at any appropriate time. It’s a fun and exciting way to show your dedication to your military unit, fraternal organization or other agency.

Our company provides custom challenge coins for everyone. We use only high-quality material and our designs are expertly embossed for a coin you can be proud of.





Honoring Veterans with Challenge Coins

Challenge coins are a relatively recent fad that is gaining a lot of momentum by people of all ages within the past few years, however, the history of these coins dates back centuries. Some would argue that the coins originated before the settlement and colonization of North American. Regardless of when these coins were developed, though, we do know that they have been used a significant mementos for unity, confidence and remembrance since the very beginning.

 

Veterans Day CoinsThey are being used by office personnel and sports teams to create bonds that money can’t buy and are being gifted to young adults upon graduation or in celebration of becoming a homeowner, landing a new job, or for the birth of a first child. They are used to remember our loved ones when they have passed on into another world. They give us something physical and tangible to hold and put into the palm of our hands an existential concept that sometimes cannot be described with words, ideas or images.

Challenge coins have become a great way to remember and commemorate special events, people and places in our lives. They have also become a great gift to give.

What are challenge coins?
Challenge coins are a small, circular and flat object made out of different types of metal. They can be made in silver, bronze, copper or brass. They can be customized specifically for someone you love or can be produced in masses and given to a graduating class or to a branch of the military. They are meant to be carried around in your pocket and serve as a constant reminder of some special event or group. They are intended to bring belonging and a sense of camaraderie but serve many meaningful purposes beyond this.

 

The perks of carrying around a challenge coin

  • Challenge coins are small and easy to transport
  • Made of high quality brass but do not weigh a lot
  • Fit nicely in your pocket
  • Serve as a reminder and act as a memento of a special time or person or place that has affected your life or at least become a huge part of it
  • They are a physical representation and tangible keepsake of a special chapter or event in your life
  • They remind you that you are connected to your past in a special way
  • They remind you that you are a part of something larger than yourself and that, by carrying this coin around, you are never alone

Why challenge coins make great gifts

  • They are cost effective
  • They are a great way to show that you care and have been thinking of a person in a special, non-traditional kind of way
  • They are extremely personalized and are, therefore, extremely unique; no other person on earth will have the exact same challenge coin as you, unless you want to buy a few of the same one, of course

Honoring military veterans with challenge coins
The significance of honoring military veterans with custom made challenge coins is a great idea. Here’s why.

Building the bond of brotherhood. Giving challenge coins to veterans can build unity and create a special sense of camaraderie among veterans that is not easily found elsewhere. They can also give light to all of the invisible lines of connection that still exist between a veteran and his peers. For example, giving the coin, especially years after the veteran has been participating in the service, is a great way for him or her to remember where they have been. It is a great way to remember that they were once a part of something larger than themselves, that they played an important and key role in serving their country.

Giving hope and helping with postpartum depression. Giving the gift of a challenge coin can give hope to veterans who may be suffering from postpartum depression disorder. The coin connects them to their past in a certain way that memories can’t because the coin is tangible. Like a photo, it can trigger new memories and bring back old ones. Sometimes revisiting these memories are helpful for healing individuals who need to move on and forget or even recover from traumatic experiences.

Inspiring loyalty. Challenge coins can inspire loyalty within veterans in a new way. Anyone who has ever been part of a team knows that the camaraderie and unity, the bond created, is one of life’s greatest gifts. For most of us, being a part of a high school sports team is one of the best and unitive experiences of our life because we feel like we belong to something. We trust each other as teammates and as friends and we have each other’s backs.

Participating in the military is the exact same thing, only sometimes this bond can be deeper because your life is literally on the line and the person standing next to you literally is in charge of looking out for it. Giving a challenge coin can invoke these memories anew and inspire veterans to continue living into loyalty in new ways.

Bridge the gap between then and now. For a veteran, spending only a few weeks living “civilian life” after living life in the war, whether active or inactive, can seem like an eternity or a decade. Days may pass in reality, but to veterans it may seem like years. Giving the gift of a challenge coin can be a great way of letting a veteran known that their “distant past” is still very much a part of their present. While they may have changed and time may have changed their physical surroundings, nothing can change their past experience. It is still special and significant and it is important to remember that period of their lives.

Saying thank you. Giving the gift of a challenge coin is also a great way to say thank you and one of the best ways to honor a former veteran. It is another way of saying, job well done. We appreciate you. We see you. We hear you. We are grateful for you and for all that you have done for us and for our country. The best part is that even after you have given the challenge coin and after you have said these words the challenge coin continues to live on in their pockets, in the hearts and in their minds when everything is beginning to fade. Challenge coins are made to last.



Honor Your Graduates with Challenge Coins

Following the lead of the military, schools are now honoring graduates with customized challenge coins. Leaders in education are using these coins to recognize the special moments in their students’ lives. Because of the many design options available, the coin can be designed to feature a unique image that ignites school pride and instills fond memories.

Which Schools Are Using Challenge Coins?

Schools all around the world are giving out challenge coins to their students. Administrators, deans, and heads of training corps bestow these tokens of appreciation and honor to graduates for special occasions. The academic institutions sharing these challenge coins with their students include:

• High schools
• Colleges and universities
• The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (jROTC)
• The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC)

All of these schools realize that there is no better way to recognize the accomplishments of students than with a customized coin that they can cherish forever.

When Should I Hand Out Challenge Coins in School?

Adults understand how important it is to encourage a sense of pride in young people for their accomplishments. Rewards for accomplishing one’s goals build a young person’s sense of self-worth. That’s why challenge coins are the perfect award to recognize a student’s achievements. A number of schools have distributed them during the following occasions:

• Graduations
• Sporting events such as winning state championship tournaments
• Academic accomplishments such as making honor roll or achieving valedictorian
• Positive behavior
• Helping in the community

By recognizing these kinds of special moments, we reinforce in young people the behavior we strive for as good citizens. These special challenge coins allow students to hold on to those fleeting moments in time that mean so much to them. The designs can be imprinted on the face of the coin with a unique insignia the student will associate with the school.

What are The Most Common Designs?

There are countless kinds of designs that schools can impress on the face of a challenge coin to commemorate an important event. Some of the most popular kinds of designs include:

• School logo
• Student’s name
• Graduation Year
• Class slogan
• School mascot

All of these are great options to choose from when designing your school’s challenge coin. Of course, the great thing about challenge coins is they can be customized in countless ways. The important thing to keep in mind when creating challenge coins for your students is to ensure that they are unique. You can do this by using images like mascots and school slogans on the face of the coin.

It’s the accomplishments we achieve in our youth that sets us on the path for success in adulthood. Knowing how important these achievements are is why we honor students with tokens like challenge coins. For this very reason, high schools, colleges, JROTC, and ROTC programs are handing them out to students. Whether it’s a graduation ceremony or the winning of a major sporting event, the designs that you put on these coins will forever impact a young person’s life. So whatever design you choose, make it meaningful and make it unique.

If you are ready to order challenge coins for this year’s graduates, visit our website or give us a call at 1-800-818-3229, and one of our representatives will help you through the process.



School Kids Worldwide Love Challenge Coins

Challenge coins are growing increasingly popular in schools in Canada and the United States. This growing interest in such coins is largely due to the fact that school officials and teachers would like something more tangible to motivate students, and also show their pride and appreciation. Even President Obama has seen the potential in using challenge coins in school, as he used them to honor students at a high school in Virginia.

Challenge coins have a long tradition in the United States military. They have been handed out to soldiers since the First World War. The coins were used as a way to create a sense of unity between service men and women. They are now being used, decades later, to promote the building of friendships and expression of pride between students in schools.

Richwood High Scool Challenge CoinBy simply engraving the school mascot on to the face of the coin, teachers and administrators have a gift that they can share with students. These tokens can be kept as mementos by students, reminding them of their experiences and accomplishments during their time in school. A schoolteacher in Ontario is believed to have started the use of challenge coins in public schools in 2008.

Chris Boyer ran a successful challenge coin business after school hours. He thought he had designed coins for just about everything: military service people, police officers, firemen etc. Then one day it “struck” him. Why not make a coin for his students? He heard about an organization called the Challenge Coin Association. Created by ex-Iraq War veteran, Jesse Medford, the CCA is the first official challenge coin organization for hobbyists and makers. The teacher contacted Medford and asked him if he could design a coin with the school’s mascot, a cartoonish looking falcon named ‘Frankie the Mascot.’

Not long after Medford and Boyer spoke, the coins were introduced in school, and students in Franklin Public Schools were filling their pockets with them. Similar to the military tradition, students were challenging one another to present their school coins. If a student couldn’t produce the coin upon request, they would have to do a push-up or give the person a candy bar. It became a fun way for students to interact, and teachers used the coins as a way to reward positive behavior. Since their introduction in Franklin Public Schools, challenge coins have made their way into schools in the United States, where they are now given to students as a token of honor.

The President visited a high school in Virginia to give a speech to the student body on the first day of classes. The school’s student body president had the honor of introducing the President to his classmates. After the speech, The President shook the young man’s hand and then handed him a presidential challenge coin. The coin’s face had the number 44 on it signifying Barack Obama being the 44th president of the United States. The President’s use of the coin is another example of how challenge coins are beginning to become a symbol of honor for students.

Whether it’s the President of United States or a public school teacher in Ontario, challenge coins are being given to students all over the world. They offer a fun way to show school pride, and are a tangible way to honor a special moment in a young person’s academic life. Challenge Coins Limited can easily come up with a design focused on representing your school. Browse our gallery for a few examples of coins we have minted previously.



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