Having custom challenge coins has been a tradition of many organizations worldwide. These coins display the organization’s emblem and are carried by members. The name challenge coins originated from the first story of a soldier in World War I who lost all forms of self- identification except for his squadron’s coin. He was taken prisoner by the enemies but was able to go back to his country’s quarters. Because of his lack of identification, he was almost executed. He was saved by his squadron’s custom coin, which he showed to prove that he’s who he says he is. From then on, the coin that the organizations like the army and the likes called their special coin a challenge coin.
Members of organizations are randomly challenged to show their custom coins as part of tradition. Often, a bet is made between the challenged and the challenger. If custom challenge coins are not shown, the challenged lose the bet; and vice versa. This is the organization’s way of preserving the importance of their challenge custom coins. They serve as a sign of belonging to a group, and such sign should be carried by the member at all times.
Custom coins are unique in each organization, as they carry the emblem of the group. They are also made of durable materials like metal and definitely made to last. These coins represent the organization, and their concepts are something to be proud of. Groups also give their challenge custom coins to respectable people whom they choose to be honorary members. It is a privilege to be given such a present because it’s a sign of being welcome for as long as the durable coin lasts; which is a long time, a lifetime even.
Because of the available market for challenge custom coins, many businesses offer services for making these coins. Most of them are pawnshops and companies that specialize in making pins and other organization paraphernalia. Bagging a deal of making these coins for an organization is a profitable business, as these coins are valuable and could be sold expensively. However, they should be done durably to ensure customer satisfaction. These coins should be timeless and flawless, if possible.
Having many custom coins is a status symbol. It symbolizes being recognized and honored by many organizations. High level politicians and businessmen who are active on civic affairs are commonly the ones presented these coins. If one is observant enough, custom challenge coins are displayed in offices of powerful people. They are comparable to trophies which symbolize being the champion of the people.
These coins are personalized and customized. They are keepsakes meant to outlive their owners and passed on from generation to generation. They may not have high monetary value aside from some exceptions, but they are an affirmation of a person’s value in an organization. It is a showmanship of character, as exclusivity is something that many covet but only a few achieve.
Having an exclusive line of custom challenge coins is a part of organizational custom that groups should preserve through time. It is a tradition that has a beautiful origin and should not have an end. Plaques and trophies may symbolize a similar affirmation, but they are not portable enough to be taken anywhere. Just like keeping pictures of loved ones in our smartphones so we can view them anytime, custom coins are a reminder of our belongingness in a group that we can constantly keep close. They are symbols of camaraderie, of a brotherhood that require a password at the entrance. Such is the value of custom challenge coins. They give access to closer relationships with people who share similar dreams and principles in life.