Challenge coins come bound with honor and tradition, and you carry it with you everywhere you go. After all, it's only to be expected when you've been given such a valuable token.
That being said, you'll want to know how to take care of your collection of Army challenge coins.
Something that important should only be given the highest of care. However, it can be a bit difficult learning how to take care of it when you don't have all of the know-how.
The good news is, it's not as hard as you might think. In fact, we've listed a few ways that you could keep your military coins in mint condition so they can continue to look as good as they did when you first got them.
How to Look After Your Army Challenge Coins
Here are just a couple of things you can do to make sure your coins stay in the best shape for years to come. Read on to find out more.
Keep Them from Direct Sunlight
This may sound like an awkward request, but trust us, it's for the good of your coins. Direct sunlight is good for most things, but that's not the case when it comes to your coins.
Challenge coins tend to have paint on the exterior. Even though this paint is hardened on the coin, when exposed to the light for a long period of time, it could begin to crack or peel.
Your best bet is to place it someplace in a corner of a room, or anywhere away for the windows where the sunlight can affect them.
Don't Use Bleach
It should go without saying, but many people have already made this mistake, and many people were undoubtedly thinking about doing later, so we're just going to nip this in the bud right now.
Bleach is a powerful substance. There's a reason why you only use it on specific items, and even then if you use too much you risk damaging those items (especially if they're white clothes).
When it comes to challenge coins, you may want to wash them off every once in a while to keep them clean. There are a few ways that you can do this (we'll go over them in a bit) but dousing them in bleach is never the way to go.
The harsh chemicals in bleach could end up damaging the paint on the coin, or worse, it could change the color of the metal itself if you continue to use the bleach.
Case and point: just don't use it.
Be Careful with Wiping with a Cloth
Whenever you see a bit of a smudge on your coin, you may feel the need to wipe it off with a cloth. Even though this is a natural reaction, you'll want to be very careful when you do this.
Dirt tends to have a bunch of small grains mixed within it, as well as the possibility of tiny rocks and other debris. These small particles can get caught up in the crevices of your coin and build up over a period of time.
If you try to clean it with a cloth first, you risk rubbing the particles all over the coin, which could lead to scratch marks. This will lower the value of your coin - and if you're a true collector, that's the last thing that you want to happen.
To take care of this problem, you'll want to wash the coin off first. Place the challenge coin under warm water and rinse it off well before wiping it off with a towel.
Doing it this way will wash away all of the hard particles, minimizing the chance of scratching the coin when you wipe it off.
Try Soaking It in Distilled Water
Who knew that distilled water could be so powerful?
There are times when a simple rinse under the sink isn't enough to get some serious gunk off of the coin. When that's the case, don't try to force it off by wiping it. Instead, try using some distilled water to do the job.
Distilled water will be gentle enough on your coin, but tough on any gunk that it runs across without affecting the color of your coin. Place your challenge coin into the water and let it sit for a day to take care of any stubborn grime.
If that isn't enough, take a soft toothbrush and gently rub it across the area with the gunk on it. After that, place it back into the water for another day to make sure the grime is gone from the coin.
Use Some Olive Oil
Those who collect ancient coins often use olive oil in order to clean off pesky spots without damaging the coin itself. Although you probably wouldn't categorize a challenge coin as ancient, you could still benefit from using this technique.
Before you do this, you should know that this process is extremely slow - much slower than the others mentioned earlier. Only use this method if nothing else mentioned already seems to work.
Take your coin and soak it in a container of olive oil for a week or more. If you see that the oil is changing color during the soaking process, then that means it's saturated with dirt and it's time for you to change it.
After the time is up, take the coin and wash it with dish soap (one that has very little or no acidity) and water. Afterwards, the coin should look good as new!
Get Your Challenge Coins Here
Looking to get your hands on some more army challenge coins? Why not check out what we have in our store?
At Custom challenge coins, we commit ourselves to making only the best challenge coins for any organization or situation. We work with military coins, police and fire department coins, masonic coins, corporate coins, and more.
We even offer you the option of making custom challenge coins, so we aren't kidding when we say we have a coin for every situation.
Sounds like a plan to you? Reach out to us and see what we can do to help you. We look forward to hearing from you soon.