While those who have served or are presently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces place a different type of value on the challenge coins that they receive, you can also find enjoyment in collecting these tokens as an ordinary citizen. After all, these coins bear the strong ties of camaraderie and valor of the specific unit that it belongs to. As such, any collector will feel the pride and passion that these coins represent.
The Tradition of Military Coins
In general, military coins serve as a mark of brotherhood and valor. They also boost morale during the most trying times on the field. However, more lightheartedly, these special tokens can also be used to commemorate significant events of a cadet’s life in the service.
The first time that a cadet would receive a challenge coin as a token would be on the day of his graduation. In particular, graduates of the U.S. Air Force are known to commemorate the special event by handing out challenge coins in order to initiate their cadets into the service. The recipients of this coin will likely carry it around as a symbol of their ties to their unit all throughout their term.
Though challenge coins are valued almost as much as medals or trophies, the way they are given out is done much more quietly and discreetly. Usually, the high ranking officers would conceal a single coin in their palm and transfer it to the palm of a deserving member in an act known as a secret handshake. The transfer is conducted so quickly and efficiently that only the most eagle eyed observers would be able to notice it.
Fortunately, such events have been recently covered in major news stations and increased the interest in these secret military traditions. These reports have greatly peaked the public interest and allowed the civilian population to recognize the significance and appeal of military challenge coins.
Though the military challenge coins would undoubtedly hold a much deeper meaning for those who have actually served their country and seen the horrors of war, even an ordinary citizen can still find a way to appreciate its value. Though they might not be able to receive their own coin through an awarding ceremony or through a secret handshake, a customized coin one nonetheless provides them with great pride and joy.
Trading Military Coins
Rather than merely serving as a token or symbol of affiliation, the challenge coins have become sought after collectibles that are actively traded and displayed by their owners. Regardless of whether the coins are earned or bought as custom coins, the unique designs of each individual coin makes it a highly prized piece in any collection.
Though the original military coins originally bore a simple image and a logo with ties to their organization, the availability of both designers and manufacturer has considerably expanded the possible coin designs and colorways. Custom coins can now be made in any shape and material that you desire.
While the first few challenge coins resembled the circular shape and size of actual currency, modern custom coins can now be constructed as arrowheads, abstract forms, and other shapes. You can even make them to display 3- dimensional images that are more exquisitely rendered than those found on actual coins.
The coins can be highly personal and made to reflect your unique tastes. You can have the custom coins engraved with your birthday, your personal artwork, or even with a specially printed photograph.
Customizing your own Challenge Coin
Fortunately, the number of coin manufacturers who have popped up in recent years has made it possible for anyone to have their own challenge coin made for a small sum. You will not need to contact separate companies to act as suppliers, designers, and fabricators. Instead, you can simply choose the manufacturer that can provide you with everything that you need all in one roof.
Regardless of whether you have served in the Armed Forces or not, they will happily oblige with their personalized services. You can have them copy an existing military coin or create your own design.
Whatever option you choose, you will be sure to receive a coin, which represents the dedication, service, integrity and courage that the military is expected to uphold. These coins will be made using materials and tools of the highest quality so you can expect them to stand the test of time. You can proudly display them in your home or pass them down as a family tradition from one generation to the next.
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