Dog Tags and Challenge Coins: A Perfect Combination

Did you know that challenge coins could be shaped like a dog tag? Dog tags were originally used in war to provide important information about a soldier, such as name, blood type, religion, etc. Over the years, they have become something of a novelty for soldiers and civilians. Now with the new design options of challenge coins, dog tags can display all kinds of creative images and symbols. Knowing the design options that are available to you will help you to customize the perfect challenge coin dog tag.


Military service people around the world use dog tags. What every country’s dog tags have in common is they are used to provide vital information for each individual soldier.

Going back to the United States Civil War, soldiers realized that they needed some kind of identification to be recognized if they were mortally wounded in battle. This way their family members would be able to bury them. Because they did not have customized dog tags, soldiers would attach a piece of paper on the back of their coats with their name and home address. Others would carve their identification information on the back of a belt buckle.

Dog Tag Challenge CoinAfter the Civil War, it became clear that there was a need to provide soldiers with a way to be identified. That’s when dog tags became standard military paraphernalia. Since then, dog tags have been provided in every major American war including:

• World War I
• World War II
• Vietnam

Dog tags are still used today by military combatants around the world. Thanks to innovations offered by manufacturers of challenge coins, dog tags have all kinds of new designs on them.


When looking for a challenge coins in the form of a dog tag, you want to consider a number of things. One of the first questions you should ask yourself is: how do I want to carry my dog tag? Challenge coins shaped as dog tags can connect to a key chain, tie around your neck, or simply be placed in your pocket. A new trend that you might find fun is having your challenge coin dog tag designed as a bottle opener. It all depends on your preference.

The shape of your tag is also an important element. Some classic shapes of dog tag challenge coins that you may want to consider include:

• Rectangular
• Oblong
• Octagon
• Hexagon

Once you’ve decided on its purpose and shape, you’ll want to consider how you want to display your chosen design. Dog tag challenge coins can display designs in two ways:

• Horizontal
• Vertical

The horizontal display is ideal for tags with large pictures or emblems, while the vertical design has a teardrop look that many collectors find unique. In order to decide which one is right for you, first consider the imagery you want displayed on your dog tag. There are countless styles to pick from.

Classic Symbols

You design your traditionally shaped challenge coins how you like, and the same is true for dog tag challenge coins. Some of the classic designs include:

• Military branch seals (e.g. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Joint Chief of Staff)
• American Eagle
• Business card with owner’s signature and business address
• Engraving of a special date in history to honor heroics, hard work, and accomplishments

Very often dog tag challenge coins commemorate a special moment, or recognize unity and friendship between members of an organization. Whatever the purpose for your dog tag, make sure it includes the unique elements of the moment.

Baseball Challenge Coins: A Hit with Little League Teams

For almost one hundred and fifty years, baseball teams around the United States have used collectible items to recognize and honor those playing the game. From Little Leagues across the country to Major League Baseball, such items as trading cards, pins, pennants and more have been distributed, collected, traded, and sold by kids and avid adult collectors. In the last few years, challenge coins have grown increasingly popular among Little League teams due to their customizability and collectability.

Baseball CoinsNorthside Little League Challenge Coin

Baseball challenge coins can be customized to feature team slogans and logos, photos, and even player numbers. The potential design ideas are limitless, and they can vary in shape and size. Their durability and form factor make them a logical choice for little leagues, as they don’t have to worry about creasing them, or being pricked by a sharp point.

Get A Quote On Baseball Coins

Customized baseball challenge coins are starting to pop up in Major League Baseball stadiums around the country as well, further fueling their popularity at the Little League level. Aspiring baseball superstars eager to have some sort of connection to their favorite Major League Baseball team love the idea of having a customized challenge coin for their own Little League team.

Using Baseball Challenge Coins to Symbolize Team Solidarity

Challenge coins have been used for decades in the military to build morale and unity among units. Similar to the manner in which they been used at the military level, Little League baseball teams have used them to symbolize team solidarity. Each member of a team is given a baseball challenge coin with the team logo, slogan, or some other unifying image or text.

Some teams require their players to have their team’s baseball challenge coins with them at all times to represent their commitment to their team. Others, however, allow their players to display the coins as they see fit, and even trade them with members of other teams. In fact, the trading of baseball challenge coins has become so popular that many Little League teams issue each player more than one coin to make such exchanges possible.

Honoring Champions with Baseball Challenge Coins

Many Little Leagues around the country are even replacing the traditional trophies and certificates with baseball challenge coins as a way of honoring the league champions, or simply all of those that participated for the year. While trophies are clunky, and can take up a lot of space when displayed, baseball challenge coins are made to a convenient and easily displayed size and shape. Because baseball challenges are customizable in nearly every aspect, they make for the perfect keepsake to meaningfully honor championship teams.

Customizing Your Team or League’s Baseball Challenge Coins

When planning your order of baseball challenge coins for your team or league, you should first and foremost consider the following:

• The number of coins you will need to order.
• The size and shape of the coin.
• The design of the coin.

Before placing your order, it is a good idea to determine exactly how many coins you plan to have made. The best way to come up with the right number for your order is to ask yourself the following questions:

• How are the coins going to be used? To honor a championship team or superstar player? Or to be given out for to each player in the league or on a team as a token of participation?
• How many baseball challenge coins will each player receive? Will the players be given just one for keepsake purposes, or will they be given multiples and encouraged to trade?

After you have decided the perfect quantity for your order, you’ll then want to decide what size and shape you would like for the coin. Baseball challenge coins are commonly round in shape so as to maintain the same form factor as a ball. The size that you choose, however, will depend on the design that you would like your coin to feature.

When choosing a design for your baseball challenge coins, you’ll likely first want to get an idea as to how the coin will be used. If the coins will be given to the championship team in some kind of ceremonial fashion, you wish to have a design and text that reflects their accomplishment. On the other hand, if the coin is to be used as a means of building team solidarity, you may want to include the team logo and slogan in the design.

Surf’s Up With Hawaiian Themed Military Challenge Coins

Hawaii Surfboard Challenge Coins

Surfboard shaped challenge coins for the 324th Intelligence Squadron in Hawaii.

Just when you think the shape of a challenge coin has been pushed to the limits, BAM….another interesting and conversation inspiring coin comes out from the folks at Challenge Coins Limited. This time in the shape of a surfboard….but wait…this one is dual featured. It also has a bottle opener cut-out that is fully functional!

When we think about the Hawaiian Islands, surfing naturally comes to mind. The two basically go hand in hand. That’s why the 324th Intelligence Squadron based at Hickam Air Force Base, HI chose to use the shape as the basis for their coin.

Measuring 2.50″ in height and plated in high polished bronze, the 324th challenge coin displays the Squadron’s logo and many tell-tale Hawaiian attributes. Note the Tiki, lava mountain range, and red and white pua aloalo flowers spread about the obverse side.

The reverse side uses the island chain and all too familiar saying in Hawaii, “Mahalo Nui Loa” which translates to “Many Thanks!.”

Is your unit or group based in Hawaii and interested in having custom coins made? If so you can give us a call at 1-800-818-3229 to discuss your project. We have the ability to feature your very own local design into a challenge coin with ease. Visit our gallery or coin design page to see other designs that may help you along the way.

“Pop the Top” With Challenge Coin Bottle Openers

3D Bottle OpenerThis summer you’ll be everyone’s favorite person with your challenge coin bottle opener. These bottle openers can be manufactured with any design or color scheme you like.

They can be great give-aways at retirement parties, bachelor events, or just about any celebration you can think of. Add an extra touch to your order with numbering or edge engraving for even more personalization.

Guaranteed to work: While similar coins are just for “show” – these coins are 100% able to open a bottle of beer when our guidelines are followed*. We use the right specs in the design process to make sure they are functional, every time.

We can even add a second cutout in your coin bottle opener so that it can be worn on a necklace or key chain for easy access!

Challenge Coins and Drinking: A Perfect Combo

Considering the history of challenge coins, it’s surprising that it has taken this long for the challenge coin bottle opener to arrive. Drinking and challenge coins have been popular with soldiers since World War I.

Part of the fun of challenge coins is “challenging” fellow soldiers to show their coins at local bars. If a soldier does produce the coin, they have to buy a round of drinks. Now any challenge coin collector who enjoys a cold brew on a summer afternoon can pop the top off their favorite beer with a challenge coin bottle opener.

42nd Clearance Company Bottle Opener Challenge Coin

Bottle Opener Quote

A New Take on the Challenge Coin

Becoming very popular as commemorative or memorabilia giveaway coins, the new take on the coin is a pop-top challenge coin bottle opener. It comes in various shapes and sizes.

• Round
• Cowbell shaped
• Dog Tag shaped
• Rectangular, Octagon, Pentagon and so on

Custom Bottle Opener Coins

Anything Can Be Put on the Challenge Coin Bottle Opener

Just as other challenge coins this type coin can represent the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force, Firefighters, Policeman, or even a congressional group, a corporate group or a personal group. Use your imagination and most any company catering to the challenge coin should be able to help you design and customize a coin for your needs and purpose. The challenge coin can be made of:

• Copper
• Bronze
• Silver
• Gold

The stronger metals are the best choice for the bottle opener. They will be able to be functional and relatively indestructible. The front and back lettering and insignia or logo can be raised, painted and have an epoxy dome finish or can simply be brushed, polished or antiqued. Its finish can be smooth or rough. The rim is smooth and even around and flush to the front and back. The edge of round shapes can be diamond cut, roped, or even flowered. There are many, many characteristics that can be applied to make this coin your very own.

Functionality and Sentiment are Expressed with These Coins

USMC Challenge Coin Bottle OpenerChallenge coin bottle openers are used at home, in bars and other social gatherings. These coins are a spectacular hit and conversation piece at any barbecue or pool party. What an asset it would be to have one of these bottle openers on hunting or fishing camping trips. They are given at conventions, parties, ceremonies, assemblies, dedications or any other event you might want to commemorate. The recipients are usually being honored or awarded for something they have done or participated in. They promote camaraderie and loyalty. Admirals, chiefs, and presidents have given these coins. They are long lasting and forever a reminder of the event and spirit in which it was given.

At Challenge Coins Limited, we offer you the ability to customize your challenge coin bottle opener just as you would like it. We offer you many choices to consider including:

• Various shapes and sizes
• Different fronts and backs
• Various metals
• A plethora of insignias, logos and slogans

A pricing chart and a toll-free phone number is available below, so you can call if you want to customize your coin or speak with a representative that can help you with the information you are looking for but can’t find.

Bottle Opener Challenge Coin Price Chart

We look forward to helping your unit or group come up with a lasting bottle opener bearing your trademark or emblem – just give us a call to being the process. We offer free design services so you can see what your coin will look like before you spend a dime. It’s just part of what makes the Challenge Coins Limited experience superior to the competition.

How Custom Coins Relate To Geocoins and Pirate Lore

Geocachers use tracking systems to hunt for “treasure” like pirates of old, minus the pillaging and poor hygiene. The treasure is not gold or anything of substantial monetary value, but instead, unique items called geocaches that are hidden by other geocachers. Geocoins make for the perfect geocaches due to their coin shape and customizability. While they are not typically worth much of anything money-wise, the reward for finding them is the enjoyment that one gets out of the adventure.

Geocoins and other types of geocaches can be anywhere, from your own neighborhood to the other side of the planet. More than one million caches are to be found all over the globe. Cachers do not typically keep caches when they find them. Rather, they leave them in place, or move them to another location for other cachers to find.

“Pieces of Eight!:” Geocoins As Booty

Geocoins are often used for geocaching. Like pieces of eight or gold doubloons, these special challenge coins can resemble riches from a treasure chest. Geocoins are often personalized with the state or name of a cacher. They can be inscribed with tracking numbers or tags that trace the “hitch-hiking” token’s journey.

Are Geocachers Pirates?

Geocaching is popular with hikers and recognized by the United States Forest Service as a legitimate outdoor activity. Geocaching is discouraged in some National Parks because it could potentially harm wildlife or disrupt traffic on popular footpaths. To some, caches seem like litter and aren’t appropriate in designated wilderness areas. But geocachers follow codes that hold them responsible for the maintenance of their geocaches. Sometimes they even use virtual caches that don’t involve objects or logbooks and respect the low-impact guidelines of wilderness areas. However, mischief-inclined cachers can plant “evil caches” that are purposefully difficult to recognize.

A “Hi-Tech” yet Rustic Hobby

Geocaching is a “hi-tech” hobby that inspires seekers to go outdoors and explore with friends. In the early 2000s, when geocaching began, the cachers relied on GPS systems to find geocoins and other caches. Now, apps make caching accessible to smart phone owners. Geocaching apps offer cache locations, clues, and a simulated compass. With a little imagination, an iPhone screen is a crinkled pirate map, and the blue dot position locator is the “X marks the spot.” Cachers, through their adventures, are linked to fellow treasure hunters. They can share their experiences on the Internet or sign their names in cache logbooks. Uncovering caches offers a sense of accomplishment to seekers whether they are “FTF” (first to find), or among other successful searchers.

The Value of Geocoins

Geocoins are technically not coins, but medals. Coins are created by governments and have financial value. A medal is meant to commemorate something, as opposed being spent like money. Military challenge coins, medals that honor patriotic deeds, inspired geocoins. Both traditional challenge coins and geocoins have a positive influence on developing leadership skills and community building,

If you would like to order geocoins, and join in on the treasure hunt like activity of geocaching, please fill out your quote for challenge coins today.

Napa Valley, California Casino Rolls The Dice With Custom Coins

Napa Valley Casino Challenge CoinsKnown as “The Friendliest Casino in America,” the American Canyon, California based Napa Valley Casino wanted to extend their hospitality in the form of a challenge coin that reflected their unique and regional-specific logo. The designers at Challenge Coins Limited were able to use the existing logo to create and mint a very attractive coin for their use.

At first glance one should recognize the tell-tale grape vines indicative of this region of California. These grape vines encase the “NVC” and the outer edge of the design mimics an actual poker chip. Combining wine country appeal in gold plating and authentic poker-chip characteristics are just another example of how versatile a custom coin can be.

NVC features over a dozen poker tables and other venues for the serious player or casual visitor. It wouldn’t matter what time of day you plan to visit as their doors are open day or night, at all hours. Local and regional tournaments are held at certain times of the year, and if you are lucky enough, you may even get a glimpse of the coin we were a part of.

No matter what your need, Challenge Coins Limited can use your logo or brand to design a coin you would be excited to pass out. For local casinos or national brands, we’ve got you covered! Call us at 1-800-818-3229 or email

Glow In The Dark Feature Adds Spark to Custom Challenge Coins

Glow In The Dark Challenge Coins Color

We’ve found that one thing remains constant when it comes to designing coins, and that is that everyone wants their challenge coin to be somehow “different” than the next. One feature that isn’t so often utilized is our glow in the dark enamel color fill. This special coloring allows for any area that is able to colored to glow when exposed to any light source, and then presented in darkness. The coin above is just one example of how this option can be used, but keep in mind any area of your coin can be made to glow.

Challenge Coins Limited has minted many of these coins approaching Halloween, a few for our corporate customers, and hundreds using this technique for military units. An interesting application for this option is coding. Some clients have filled only select areas of their coin with glow in the dark enamel so that a hidden message, or code, is seen only when the coin is viewed in darkness. Additions like this can make your challenge coins really stand out from the crowd in terms of originality. Most recently, a company that specializes in Night Vision equipment used the glow in the dark enamel for their coin – a perfect fit given that the enamel glows in a “greenish color” that is often seen through a viewfinder on such equipment.

One downfall of the glow in the dark option is that you won’t want to combine it with an epoxy coated challenge coin. The epoxy will limit the amount of light that interacts with the special enamel, causing a diminished “glow” effect. While most of the coins we sell don’t have an epoxy coating, we thought we would point this out before you decide to take your design to the next level with this option. We actually learned the hard way – experience counts!

To find out more, reach out to us via our website or email at:

The Sumter, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce 100th Anniversary Challenge Coin

Is your Chamber of Commerce celebrating a significant milestone in your community? The Sumter, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce used our services to design a challenge coin for their upcoming 100th Anniversary celebration on May 16th, 2012. Their coin shows the historic building on one side and colorful representations of the Sumter, South Carolina area on the other. This coin is plated in high polished silver with a standard edge at 1.75″ in size. The first 500 coins will be used at the event as celebratory pieces with more coins being rolled out at a later date.

Custom coins are great for any event, large or small. Since they are a hard, durable good…they don’t get tossed aside or end up in the trash can when your event is over. People tent to collect and display these coins over time. In fact, they have even evolved into a new business card of sorts.

If you are in the Sumter area on Wednesday, May 16th, stop by and join the festivities. The even will be held at the Sumter Civic Center located at 700 W. Liberty Street with drinks being served at 6:30pm and dinner beginning at 7:00pm. There will also be a silent auction, live music, photography and additional cuisine offered. Please call 803-775-1231 for complete details.

Sumter South Carolina Challenge CoinsSumter, South Carolina is centrally located in the middle of the State and is widely known as the Gamecock City. It’s diverse culture and business elements make it ripe for growth, and with under 100 miles from the beach one might see why this is a desirable place to live and raise a family.

Put your event on a custom coin by contacting the experts! Challenge Coins Limited works with organizations big and small to find an attractive and tasteful solution to their celebration needs. With our creative artists and exemplary service, this is one task that your organizer won’t have to stress over. Call 1-800-818-3229 to get started.

El Paso, Texas FD Challenge Coins Combine Unique Design Elements

When the El Paso, Texas Fire Department needed a new coin to present to it’s training graduates, they commissioned Challenge Coins Limited to come up with a unique design that portrayed not only their recognizable logo, but also their core values. The El Paso logo is quite intricate, which created a “challenge” for the design department as far as fitting each element on a coin.

El Paso Texas FD Challenge Coin

Gold plated custom challenge coins for El Paso, Texas Fire Department. Click the coin image above for detailed view.

When a challenge coin is deigned, the actual specifications of manufacturing capability must be adhered to. What does this really mean? Well, you can’t simply slap a logo on an artwork file for production and just hope it turns out well. Metal line thicknesses are critical when it comes to a finished coin looking good. A quick glance at the El Paso example to the left reveals very small details within the reverse side. Knowing the manufacturing limits is critical for such detail to turn out well.

On the other hand, there is quite a bit of small text in the lower “International Accredited Agency” seal near the bottom. This small wording is actually beyond the minimum requirements for line thickness. The solution: silk screening. Silk screening very small text is noting new and quite common, especially in lapel pin manufacturing. This technique applies the desired color to the surface metal of the coin. Before you ask, we’ll let you know that silk screened text, or imagery, is very durable – it does not scratch off.

To make this challenge coin even more distinctive, we created a custom edge just for this coin. The edge is actually an adaptation of a “Rope Edge” that is fairly common on some custom made challenge coins.

Challenge Coins Limited is able to tackle just about any design issue that may arise when composing your coin. With industry-leading options and helpful tips on ordering your coins, the process is a breeze!

Edwards Air Force Base Troops Receive Iron Man 2 Challenge Coins

During the filming of Iron Man 2, director Jon Favreau presented ‘Iron Man’ challenge coins to the troops stationed at Edwards Air Force Base. It was during the production crew’s time aboard the base that they bonded with the troops by exchanging these customized challenge coins.

Favreau and crewmembers were given battalion and squadron challenge coins by service men and women stationed on the ship. Favreau was honored by the gesture, and in return, had customized Iron Man 2 challenge coins made and handed out to the troops.

“The people at Edwards were great,” said co-producer Rockwell. “They provided everything we asked for and let us put up on the screen what their world really looks like.”

The specific scene filmed at Edwards is that which showed arms dealer Justin Hammer shopping for high-tech weapons on the black market. Favreau wanted complete authenticity for the scene, and so he had real weapons used as props. Although there were no sightings of Robert Downey Jr. on the set, troops were still thrilled to have a Hollywood film crew on-board. Whenever they had an opportunity, they would walk up to Favreau and other crew members and hand them one of their challenge coins. This began a friendship that both film crew and military service people on board the Edwards will never forget.

It was fitting that this friendship was made aboard an Air Force base. Legend has it that the origin of the challenge coin began during World War I amongst U.S. flying squadron troops. Young men from all walks of life wanted a chance to fly the never-before-used fighter planes in war. A wealthy lieutenant belonging to one of these new fighter squadrons decided to have bronze challenge coins specially made for members of his troop. As the story goes, it was one of these coins that saved one crewmember’s life.

While flying over enemy territory, German fire shot down one of the fighter pilots. The Germans captured the man and stripped him of all his belongings. However, they did not find his gold plated challenge coin tied around his neck in a leather sack. The overlooked coin would soon save his life.

Not long after he was captured, allied troops attacked the prison camp. The soldier escaped into the woods, but French troops soon captured him. They assumed that he was another German soldier in disguise. Just as he was about to get shot, the U.S. pilot pulled out his challenge coin and showed it to the captain. The captain stared down at the coin, and after studying the insignia for a few moments, he told the soldier to put away his gun. He had seen this insignia before. It was American.

When co-director Rockwell was asked about how the military service people responded to Favreau’s gesture of giving out Ironman 2 challenge coins, he emphasized that he was incredibly humbled by the unwavering kindness of the troops, and they were grateful that he not only understood, but also respect their culture and tradition.

Customized challenge coins are still used today. You can make your own coins for all kinds of events and club activities. Just as the coins helped the film crew of Iron Man 2 connect with the troops, you too can connect with new friends and colleagues through this unique token of appreciation.

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