Challenge Coins: What They Mean and What They’re Used For

Challenge Coins

The original 13 colonies became the United States in 1783. In 1787, they met in Philadelphia to draft the U.S. Constitution. 

The United States and its history have largely changed since then. If you’re into history, you might wonder how you can celebrate different periods.

Have you heard of challenge coins before? Read this guide and be able to answer the question, what are challenge coins today! 

What Are Military Challenge Coins?

From celebrating the US Coast Guard to the Navy, various personalized challenge coins are available. They’re custom challenge coins to show membership in a group or organization. 

It can also honor people. They’re small and fit into the palm of your hand. 

They can also represent events, anniversaries, or an achievement. While they’re popular in the military, civilian groups use them too. 

Create Bonds

Even after you leave the service, it keeps you connected. Many veterans will display the coins from the units they’ve served in. First responders will often have them for brave efforts during tragedies. 

They build morale since they celebrate awards. You have to work hard to receive them, whether in the military, as a first responder, or as a civilian. 

There’s challenge coin etiquette too. Someone can challenge you to see if you have your coin. If you don’t, you have to buy everyone drinks. 

If you lose your coin, you need to replace it immediately. Many will keep their coins on them at all times. 


It shows that you were a member of a unit. It could also include elite groups of people. 

In many areas, they were used for security. To prove your loyalty, you would need to show your coin. 

A Quick History

Some think that challenge coins come from Ancient Rome. Soldiers were given minted coins as a reward. 

It became more common during World War I. They would use bronze medallions with their flying squadron’s insignia. 

In 2011, the Secretary of Defense went to military bases in Afghanistan and shook hands with each person in the Armed Forces. He then gave each one a challenge coin. 

Who Uses Them

Today, you can find politicians and presidents using them. They commemorate the administration and inauguration. 

Even businesses use them too. There are corporate challenge coins that have company logos on them. You could also create personalized challenge coins with members of the corporate team who have contributed to the company. 

They’re excellent for friends, family, and coworkers. You can pass them on in families too. They’re the most popular in the military. 

Answering the Question, What Are Challenge Coins?

After exploring this guide, you should be able to answer the question, what are challenge coins? See what customization options you have available and if they’re the right pick for you.

Would you like to read more educational lifestyle content? We can help! Be sure to check out our other articles today. 

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BSV Staff

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