Challenge coins are traditional medallions given out to service members by military commanders. Most of the time they represent one’s camaraderie and allegiance to the military forces. Challenge coins tend to be quite small. Their diameter varies from 3.8 centimeters to 5 centimeters, and the thickness is about 1/4 of a centimeter. Though most of the coins are circular, some come in all sorts of shapes — pentagons, dog tags, shields, and even arrowheads. Their composition generally includes copper, pewter, and nickel, but many other finishes are often used. Some designs can be simple — just a small emblem or symbol, — but others can have intricate cut-outs, complex designs, and even 3D parts.
Beyond the Military
Though the military still feels ecstatic about the idea of using simple coins as a gesture of allegiance, challenge coins have outgrown the military. Today, these coins have escaped the firm grasp of military forces and leaked into the hands of civilians. Not only that, but many administrators and authority figures exchange their challenge coins as business cards! It’s more than fascinating how such a simple concept of a coin evolved into a truly meaningful and widespread emblem of tradition and honor.
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