Challenge coins are earned by military or civil service members. This includes all branches of the military and first responders. Despite the custom of earning or being given a challenge coin, it is possible to buy them.
Where Challenge Coins Come From
Challenge coins are made by metalworking companies and purchased by organizations to give to their members. This is often done in a challenge coin ceremony, which is designed to bring organizations together in spirit. Producing challenge coins is a complicated process, which is why many organizations rely on third-party companies to make them.
How Challenge Coins Are Awarded
Challenge coins are usually awarded in ceremonies honoring people who have reached a special level of achievement. For example, a person that successfully enters the Marine Corp may be awarded a challenge coin. The requirements for earning a challenge coin depend entirely on the organization that awards it.
Organizations that award challenge coins often have multiple levels of coins available for different achievements. For example, military units may have individualized challenge points for the entire unit, but they may also have specific coins for specific achievements. In this way, they can be awarded in a similar way as medals for actions in the field.
The military also has variations of his challenge coins for different ranks. Higher-ranked individuals may receive a customized coin with special features, such as their name, a unique shape, or a specific size. It all depends on what value the unit associates with each coin and how it decides to award them.
While every organization chooses how it awards challenge coins, there is one noticeable caveat. You often need to be a member of that organization or somehow affiliated with it to earn your challenge coin. This means that civilians are rarely awarded a challenge coin. However, this does not mean that civilians cannot have challenge coins.
Civilians can receive challenge coins in a number of ways. While they're usually reserved for service members, there are cases where organizations have awarded service coins for a civilian’s contributions. In these situations, the civilian proves to be so valuable that many of the members feel that they should be rewarded with one of their coins.
Challenge Coins for Civilians
There are many challenge coins for civilians due to civilian organizations and individuals ordering them from manufacturers. These manufacturers can make just about any challenge coin that you can imagine. There are several ways that civilians receive challenge coins.
Receive a Challenge Coin From a Company
There is a growing number of civilian companies having their own designs made. These coins are often given to employees that reach specific milestones, but there are companies that give them as membership tokens as well. These companies set the rules for receiving one of their challenge coins, so it varies by company.
Inherit a Challenge Coin From a Relative
Civilians can also inherit challenge coins from a relative or friend. Military personnel and first responders usually keep their challenge coins and pass them along to family members. It is not unusual for a coin to become a family heirloom. This is one of the few ways that civilians usually receive military or public service challenge coins.
Design Your Own Challenge Coin
If you want a challenge coin, you can design one yourself. The companies that manufacture challenge coins often allow civilians to design and purchase their own challenge coins.
These coins can be modified in a variety of ways. You can choose different sizes, materials, ways of painting, and ways of etching details. There are few limits to what you can do to design your own coin. They're even coins where full images have been printed on them. The capabilities of the company that makes your coin will determine if there are any significant limitations to its design.
There is one limitation that may be universal between coin manufacturers. That limitation has to do with copying other organization’s coins. Your challenge coin can look whatever way you want it to. However, there may be some restrictions. For example, some companies may not let you make an exact copy of a military challenge coin. Copying these coins could create legal issues over who owns the design, and a coin minting company may stop your order to avoid legal problems.
Buying Challenge Coins
It is possible to buy challenge coins from a variety of sources. You can buy them directly from Custom Challenge Coins. We can create the design that you need. However, you may be limited by this if you are not part of the organization that the coin was designed for. Some people also find other ways to buy a challenge coin to collect on their own. Pawn shops and second-hand stores also sell the coins if they come across them.
If you are looking to buy challenge coins, start with a manufacturer. That way, you will get a challenge coin in mint condition and made to your exacting specifications. Manufacturers can usually do runs of coins that range from very few to tens of thousands.
Custom Challenge Coins Can Make Your Challenge Coin
The tradition of challenge coins is a long one, and you can join in on this tradition by getting a challenge coin of your own. If you have not been awarded one through service or some other means, you can consider buying one directly from Custom Challenge Coins.
At Custom Challenge Coins, we help you design and customize challenge coins to your liking. If you’re still not sure which type of custom coin is right for you, or you need some inspiration, we’re here to help. Get in contact with us here if you have any questions, and we’ll help create the custom coin of your dreams. Our facility is equipped to handle a wide range of customized coin shapes, sizes, and designs. Let us be your source for high-quality and fully customized challenge coins.