7 Effective Employee Recognition Ideas

Make your staff feel appreciated by offering tokens of appreciation for their hard work. Get your inspiration for employee recognition ideas from this list!

Did you know that only 51% of employees are satisfied with the recognition they receive after doing a great job?

Not only that, but only 1 in three employees have received recognition in the last week.

Now, we don’t expect you to offer the following employee recognition ideas on a weeklbasis, but it does need to be consistent. As a result, your company will benefit, too!

How?

Recognition helps increase productivity in your workforce. Your employees become happier to work (less time for complaining!), their loyalty grows stronger, and employee retention increases. This saves you time and money.

As you can see, employee recognition is a tremendous all-around practice. We’re here to offer some creative ideas for the next time you need to award someone for a job well done.

Keep reading!

1. Positive Feedback

We’ll start with the most straightforward recognition of all — positive feedback.

Sometimes, even a little acknowledgment can go a long way. Too often, employees perform well and get nothing but silence in return. If you offer regular, specific feedback, they’ll know to continue doing good work.

Take the uncertainty out of the equation. Tell your employees what an excellent presentation they did, how happy you are with their sales, or whatever applies to your business.

2. Company Swag

There’s nothing like some swag to get people excited (and hey — it’s an advertisement for you, too!).

If you’ve got custom mugs, t-shirts, stress balls, pens, etc., consider pulling it all together into a company tote bag. Gift it to the employee you’d like to recognize.

This small gesture allows them to feel proud of their place of employment.

3. An In-House Meal

A Harvard Business Review study found that 26% of employees value healthy food options in the workplace.

While you may not be able to supply these healthy food items on a daily basis, you could consider hosting quarterly or bi-annual catered parties. Provide a variety of healthy, yummy options.

It’s easy to just order a bunch of pizza and call it a day.

Instead, seek out a local caterer and have them bring a smorgasbord of great grub. Not only will your employees love eating in (and not having to pay for their meal), but it’ll give them some time to de-stress and comingle with their coworkers.

Additionally, healthy food should spark some energy. High-carb pizza results in that sleepy after-effect that’s not too good for going back to work!

4. Employee Outings

Say you’d like to recognize your whole team rather than a specific employee.

Employee outings are great for recognizing an entire group of people at once. And if someone on the team is slacking a bit, a group outing should encourage them to pick up the pace.

Some ideas for your next outing could be:

  • A pool hall or bowling alley
  • A scenic, easy hike
  • Volunteering for a local charity
  • A painting class
  • A cooking class
  • A sporting event at your local arena

Try to find something that offers group discounts to lessen the cost of the bill.

Additionally, try to avoid divisive activities. For example, taking your employees on a bar crawl could make those who don’t drink feel uncomfortable or left out.

5. Custom Challenge Coins

Custom challenge coins are an excellent souvenir for a job well done.

In fact, non-monetary incentives like these are just as effective as cash bonuses. They complete the same objective — motivate employees, develop camaraderie in the workforce, and bring teams together.

Challenge coins have a long and storied history that dates back to WWI. And they’re still used today at corporate events and often show up in the workplace.

Not only does collecting coins give your employees something to look forward to achieving, but they’re a great way to highlight individual successes. You can create a custom medal for any type of achievement. If there’s more than one style of coin, that’s one more thing for your employees to strive for.

At the end of the year, employees can compare coins, see who got what, and see who collected the most. This’ll give them something to look forward to going into the next year — collecting even more coins!

6. Social Media Shout-Outs

If your employee is okay with having a photo posted online, this is a great way to recognize their achievements.

Take a picture of the employee you want to shout-out and post it to your business’s social media page. Write a short little bio about them and explain why they’re getting recognized.

Then, they can re-share the post on their account and let their family and friends see what a great job they’re doing at work!

Bonus — this increases awareness about your company and shows what a great team you’ve cultivated.

7. A Wall of Fame

Similar to the idea above, a wall of fame praises employees’ achievements in a fun and fresh way.

Say your company incentives employee or company reviews. You can start a Wall of Fame and print out any reviews that mention your employees. Highlight their names and pin the paper to a corkboard in your office.

This works in two ways.

One, it recognizes those who’ve gone above and beyond. Second, it encourages anyone not yet on the board to strive for getting their name featured!

Try One of These Fantastic Employee Recognition Ideas

You’ll be surprised at how effective they can be!

Not only will you feel content with offering praise and acknowledgment, but your employees will feel even more over-joyed at their achievements. This directly results in a better work ethic (which is good news for your company).

Why not put one of these employee recognition ideas to the test right now?

Contact us today to see your options for a custom, creative, high-quality challenge coin. We’ll even help you come up with a free design that’s perfect for your company!

What It Means To Be Gifted A Custom Challenge Coin

What is the history of custom challenge coins and what does it mean to be gifted one? Read up and find out.

Throughout the ages, members of exclusive groups and units have found ways to honor each other and prove their allegiance and membership. Whether it is through songs, sayings, tattoos, or other markers, these groups recognize the importance of their bond and their allegiance to the same group.

Challenge coins are one of the ways these groups celebrate their membership and their bond. From US Presidents to police officers to soldiers, many groups and units use challenge coins to build morale and fellowship and honor others. And while you may have never heard of challenge coins, they have a long and celebrated history.

In this article, we’ll go over the use of custom challenge coins, including their history and what it means to be gifted one.

Custom Challenge Coins: What Are They?

A challenge coin is a coin or medallion created by a group that is given to the members of that group. Challenge coins typically bear the seal or insignia of a group along with their motto or other identifying images or words. They are typically used by different groups in the military and law enforcement to signify that they belong to a unit or group.

But how did these unique gifts get their start? Challenge coins have been used throughout history, and have even played a role in saving soldiers lives!

Challenge Coins: How They Got Their Start

The first use of challenge coins in human history was by the Ancient Romans. The Romans had one of the greatest armies in history that conquered huge swaths of territory in a short amount of time.

Commanders in the Roman army witnessed the greatness of their soldiers in battle and wanted to recognize them for their acts of bravery and courage. They had custom coins made for these brave soldiers that depicted their name, unit, and their accomplishments in battle. This helped raise troop morale and commemorated these soldier’s finest moments.

But challenge coins weren’t just used by Roman soldiers. They were also used by powerful families during the Renaissance. Upper-class families would frequently give their friends and family members “portrait coins”. These portrait coins usually had the portrait or likeness of the recipient on one side and their family seal or insignia on the other.

These coins were usually given when someone had accomplished a great feat. They were also given to commemorate special events like marriages, birthdays, and deaths.

A Downed Pilot Starts A Great Tradition

While challenge coins were used long before the 1900s, their use in the modern world stemmed from World War I.

Due to the large scale of the conflict, many young, upper-class men volunteered to join the military at the start of WWI. One of these upper-class men was a lieutenant in charge of an air squadron in the Air Force.

To raise troop morale and honor his men, he had bronze coins made with their squadron insignia on them. He gave one coin to each man as a gift. One young pilot wore his coin in a leather pouch around his neck, keeping it with him at all times.

Unfortunately, this young pilot got shot down shortly after. Although he survived the crash, he was quickly captured by German forces and taken prisoner. He was stripped of his uniform and equipment, except for his leather pouch around his neck. During an attack on the base where he was held, the pilot managed to escape the Germans.

After getting civilian clothes, the pilot managed to make his way to the frontlines. Just before crossing the front line, he was captured by French soldiers on patrol. Due to the frequent presence of spies in civilian clothes, the soldiers believed him a spy and ordered his execution.

Before they could carry out the sentence, he showed them his coin, which a French soldier recognized. They suspended his execution and were able to verify his identity as an American pilot. Once his identity was verified, they gave him a bottle of wine instead of a bullet!

The Birth of the Challenge Coin

After the safe return of the pilot, he told his story to his fellow pilots and they all began to keep their coins on them at all times. They even invented a game to ensure each pilot had their coin on them. When the pilots were at a bar, one of the members of the squadron would take out their coin and “challenge” another member to show theirs.

If that member didn’t have their coin, they would have to buy a round of drinks for every person who had their coin with them. If the challenged member had their coin with them, the challenging member would have to buy that member a drink.

Although this isn’t standard practice for groups with challenge coins, many of them still follow this tradition.

What Does It Mean to Be Given a Challenge Coin?

Different groups give challenge coins to their members for different reasons. Many groups give their members custom challenge coins as a sign of their acceptance into the group. For example, the US Air Force provides graduates of their basic training program and officer training program challenge coins to congratulate them and commemorate the event.

Some groups only give out challenge coins to those who have achieved something great. For example, some law enforcement agencies and fire departments give out challenge coins when their officers and members go beyond the call of duty.

Challenge coins may also be given to non-members under special circumstances. This usually involves the non-member doing something great for that group. Members who have challenge coins also give them to guests of honor, such as politicians or special guests.

Create a Custom Challenge Coin for Your Group

Now that you know more about the history of custom challenge coins and what it means to be given one, you can start designing a custom coin for your group.

If you have any more questions about challenge coins or how to create one for your group, please visit our blog.

Boost Corporate Workplace Morale With Custom Challenge Coins

Boost the workplace with custom challenge coins. Read to learn how custom challenge coins can benefit your companies workplace and employees.

Thanks to recent lower underemployment and employment and a slight increase in turnover and worker satisfaction with benefits, we’re seeing one of the most engaged times in the US workforce:

A whopping 34% of American workers are “engaged” – enthusiastic, committed to work, and involved.

Workplace engagement hasn’t been this high since back in 2000 when Gallup first began recording these stats.

This is exciting news; there’s still room to grow. Read on to learn how custom challenge coins can reinforce company identity, praise, and honor high-achieving individuals, and commemorate service and training.

What Exactly Are Custom Challenge Coins?

Challenge coins are high-detailed coins that serve as a token of accomplishment. They can have a more general design or a customized design based on the area of work.

Some industries that use custom challenge coins are the corporate workforce, police, fire department, and the military – AKA, army, navy, air force, marines, and coast guard.

But other businesses and industries can still take advantage of these coins as a source of encouragement, motivation, and gratitude.

How Can You Use the Coins?

First of all, know you can use the coins however you deem fit. As general guidelines, you can use them in the police force to honor a specific division like SWAT or detectives.

The same goes for the military that wants to honor a specific branch or troop.

These coins can also congratulate well-deserved promotions and service on the job. Not to mention, retirement for soon-to-be veterans, and a symbol of welcome for new entrants.

For military, police, and firefighters, they can be a symbol of purpose and dedication to their communities and nation.

One of the Biggest Ways Challenge Coins Can Boost Morale in the Workplace

As Harvard Business Review states when it comes to motivation, rewards work better than punishment.

This is where custom challenge coins can come in. Corporate, fire departments, police forces, and military can use these coins as that reward or encouragement for motivational action.

For example, let’s say you need your employees to work overtime this week on an upcoming project for a big client. Of course, you’re going to pay them overtime. But what about that extra step that shows your employees you care?

How do you motivate them to work that extra hour or three the next time an important project comes around? Honoring that time spent in the office with challenge coins will not only employees feel proud but boost company morale.

It’s One More Benefit

The reason for more engaged workers in the US may have to do with a slightly higher increase in workers’ satisfaction with tangible workplace benefits. Some tangible benefits Gallup mentions include:

  • recognition at work for accomplishments
  • retirement benefits
  • and health insurance

Custom coins can be one more tool in companies’ and departments’ recognition-benefit arsenal, which can help make employees and servicemen and servicewomen feel more engaged in their jobs.

What About Rewarding Training Courses and Certificates?

According to Entrepreneur, the online learning industry is booming. This means companies can offer employees more training that’s easily accessible.

Training courses mandatory or not, challenge coins can give employees the recognition they need.

How About Firefighters, Police Officers, and Military Servicemen and Servicewomen?

Firefighters, for example, have more job responsibilities than fighting fires. Some other ways firefighters help the community include:

  • aiding people during non-fire disasters
  • providing medical aid
  • and assisting with traffic accidents.

Several professional fire departments in California offer on-going training through their state’s apprenticeship program.

Why not award firefighters who attend such programs with a challenge coin? What about giving them a coin for completing their a skills certificate (i.e., EMT)?

The same goes for police offers, who must undergo continual training. And what about challenge coins for new recruits who finish training courses in boot camp?

Speaking of the military… Challenge coins can also honor the 18% of military that are officers. These men and women manage operations and enlisted servicemen. Not to mention, the 82% of enlisted men and women who complete these missions and keep our nation safe.

Getting the Community Involved

Challenge coins can also be a bridge between law enforcement and the community. For instance, police officers can hand out coins to the public at community events to help foster community relationships.

They can also give these coins to schools when police officers come to talk to classes about their jobs. That coin could inspire children who dream of becoming an officer.

Consider a Different Course When Trying to Deter an Action

As mentioned, they’re great for rewarding and encouraging motivational actions. But, as HBR states (same article), if you’re trying to deter certain actions (i.e., breaking company policy,etc.) rewards may not be the way to go.

In such cases, you may want to hold off on the challenge coins. How about setting a limit on something instead?

The Takeaway

Custom challenge coins offer a way for fire and police departments, corporations, and the military to honor employees.

They’re an appreciation tool for leaders who want to impact and inspire others. According to Medium, leaders can use the five love languages at the office. Challenge coins can be a part of the gift giving language.

Or be combined with a high-five or praise, checking off more love language boxes.

Ultimately, these coins are a great go-to for motivating employees and boosting company morale. Remember, you know your company/department best and will know when the best time is to use or not use the coins.

Have you used custom coins in your company or department? What did you use them for, and what was the result?

Did the employees feel more recognized for their work? What other benefits do custom coins have in the workplace?

We want to know. Comment or question? Write it in the comments section below. We’ll get back to you!

What’s the Purpose of the Prestigious Military Challenge Coin?

The military challenge coin has become one of the most prestigious military and first responder markers of rank and camaraderie.

Did you know that more than 20% of veterans who served in either Afghanistan or Iraq suffer from severe PTSD and/or depression? 

What about the fact that, when many veterans return from their service, they feel as if no one appreciates the sacrifices that they’ve made for their country? 

Whether you have a veteran in the family, or just wish you could do more to show our members of the military how much you appreciate what they’ve done, there is one simple act that means a lot: giving a military challenge coin

What are challenge coins, and how will they help to show appreciation — and support — for those who have served? 

Keep on reading to find out. 

A Brief History of Military Coins

Let’s quickly discuss how the concept of a military challenge coin came about in the first place. 

There are two main conflicting narratives surrounding the birth of challenge coins — and you can believe whichever one you would like.

The Wealthy Pilot

Some people think the tradition got started when a wealthy member of the American Air Force in World War One wanted to thank the men in his unit for serving alongside him. 

He had bronze coins created for each man in his unit so that they would always remember their time together. He wore his coin in a pouch around his neck, and it protected him and made him feel close to everyone who fought alongside him. 

Unfortunately, his plane was shot down, and he was captured by German soldiers. He escaped, but the Germans stole everything but the pouch around his neck, which they hadn’t noticed. 

While on the run, he came across some French soldiers, who assumed he was German and planned to shoot him. He then showed these French soldiers his medallion, which had the American insignia around his neck. 

His challenge coin saved his life. 

The Vietnam Challenge

Other people believe the tradition of U.S. Army challenge coins began much more recently, during the Vietnam War. 

One of a unit’s favorite ways to pass the time was to head to a local bar while on leave or at the end of the day. The goal was to be able to prove that you’d been in combat. In some cases, they would hold up enemy bullets in the bar. 

If anyone couldn’t prove that they’d served, as a way to say “thank you”, they’d need to buy all those that had served a drink. 

Soon, soldiers and veterans alike started making challenge coins, and the tradition evolved into the “coin check” challenge many of us are familiar with today. 

The Modern Meanings of a Military Challenge Coin

It goes without saying that the meaning of a challenge coin usually contains a sentiment that’s directly related to the history of the person receiving it.

There are challenge coins for all different branches of the armed forces, and there are even designs created to build camaraderie between those who have served in medical units in the army. 

In the past, challenge coins were mostly seen as a way to create a greater sense of belonging and teamwork within units. 

In today’s world, though, they’ve taken on an additional meaning — one that has saved countless lives. 

Mental Health and Challenge Coins

In addition to PTSD and depression, as well as any physical injuries sustained in combat, there’s another very real threat to the safety of veterans — suicide. 

Sadly, many vets don’t always have access to the mental health care they need to process the complex and often frightening emotions that living in dangerous situations — and seeing difficult traumatic events — causes. Some cannot cope, and opt to take their own lives. 

We know that you’ll do anything to stop a veteran — whether or not they’re a member of your family or friend — from doing this. 

While it’s important to familiarize yourself with the signs that someone might be suicidal, there is something else you can also do. 

Many people give veterans challenge coins to help ease the transition back into civilian life. These gifts for veterans carry an especially beautiful meaning. They let the veteran know that, should they ever need to talk or ask for help, you’ll be there for them. 

They don’t need to do anything more than simply slide their coin across the table to you, or show it to you. When they do, you’ll be ready to listen to what they’re going through. If they need immediate help, giving someone a coin means that you are ready to be the person they rely on. 

It’s a powerful and life-saving gift.

Are You Looking to Buy Challenge Coins Online? 

We hope that this post has helped you to better understand the meaning and prestige behind the idea of the military challenge coin. 

Whether your goal is to tell a soldier that you’re always willing to listen to them, or if you want to build friendships in your unit, a challenge coin always makes a great gift. 

Remember that these coins aren’t exclusively reserved for members of the military. They also make wonderful gifts for members of the police force, firemen and women, and others who help to protect and serve our country and communities. 

Additionally, they’re wonderful ways to promote a brand or even build teamwork among your employees. 

Spend some time browsing through our gallery of custom and pre-made challenge coins, and consider ordering some for the people you care about. 

Challenge Coin Discount – Thankful for Upgrades in November

** Promotion Expired**Challenge Coin DiscountChallenge Coin Discount – Thankful for Upgrades

For the entire month of November we are offering a free upgrade when you order 100 or more custom challenge coins.  We are thankful for our customers, which is why this thankful November we want to say thank you with a free upgrade!

Choose between:

a. Free upgrade to Antique nickel, brass, gold, silver, copper, and bronze.

B. Edge upgrade to Oblique line, Bevel, Bevel Diamond, and Cross Cut.

C. Packaging: Free upgrade from PVC to velvet bags.

***for the antique finishes that they aren’t available with hard enamel coins.

Check back often for other challenge coin discounts! And remember, we offer free shipping and free artwork from our talented artists. We are here to help!

Learn more about us here. Thank you for considering custom challenge coins!

Fill out our free online quote to receive this challenge coin discount! Mention “Thankful for Upgrades!

 

The History and Rules of the Challenge Coin

The challenge coin is something few people know about, but those who do, these coins are very symbolic and meaningful. Learn more about the history of challenge coins and the rules of giving/receiving them in our article.

Never heard of a challenge coin? Don’t worry — you’re not the only one. The reality, though, is that the challenge coin has a long and intriguing history.

Although the challenge coin is something that few people know about, these coins are very symbolic and meaningful among those who have received them.

Here’s a glimpse at the history of the challenge coin and at the rules you’ll need to follow when giving and receiving them.

Let’s get started!

The Purpose and Appearance of a Challenge Coin

Many traditions have helped to build camaraderie among military personnel over the years. However, carrying challenge coins is one of the most well-respected ones. And today, they aren’t restricted to the military (even though they largely remain a mystery among those who are not in the armed forces).

Challenge coins are essentially small tokens or medallions that signify that people are members of certain organizations.

The diameters of challenge coins are usually between 1.5 and 2 inches, and these coins are typically around 1/10 inch thick. However, their sizes and styles vary greatly. Some may even take the shapes of dog tags, arrowheads, pentagons, and shields.

Challenge coins are usually made of nickel, copper or pewter and feature various finishes. Some feature simple designs, whereas others have more elaborate designs and highlights.

The Coin’s Origination

It’s not completely clear exactly where and why the challenge coin tradition began. However, we do know that military service and coins go back much farther than the modern age — possibly as far back as Ancient Rome.

In Rome, if soldiers excelled in battle one day, they would receive their typical day’s wages along with a separate bonus coin each. According to some accounts, these bonus coins were specially minted, featuring the marks of the legions from which they came. As a result, some soldiers apparently kept their coins as mementos, instead of spending them on wine and women.

These types of coins are still handed out today to reward people for jobs well done, particularly in the military. However, some administrators treat them much like autographs and business cards that they can store in their own collections.

Still, some soldiers use challenge coins today as identification badges proving that they served in certain units. Meanwhile, other challenge coins are distributed to the civilian population for publicity purposes or are sold as fundraising tools.

Possibly the First Challenge Coin

Another well-known story about the emergence of the challenge coin dates back to the First World War. At that time, a rich officer gave his men bronze medallions featuring the insignia of their flying squadron. Not long after that, a young flying ace was shot down and captured.

Germans are said to have removed everything from the ace’s person except for a pouch he was wearing — one that held his medallion. After he escaped to France, he was sentenced to die, as the French labeled him a spy. However, the ace presented his medallion as proof of his identity.

Because one of the French soldiers recognized the insignia, France delayed the ace’s execution. After his identity was confirmed, the ace was returned to his flying unit.

Later, holes were drilled in these types of medallions so that military men could place them around the neck rather than inside leather pouches.

The Challenge

So, where exactly does the “challenge” idea come from?

According to some stories, “the challenge” started after the Second World War in Germany. Americans stationed in Germany began to conduct “pfennig checks,” or checks for this low-denomination German coin. If you couldn’t produce a pfennig when someone else called a check, you had to buy the beers.

The pfennig check later evolved to a unit medallion check, with unit members challenging one another by slamming their medallions down on a bar. Any member who lacked his medallion had to purchase drinks for everyone else who had their coins. Meanwhile, if everyone could present a medallion, the challenger was the one who had to buy the drinks.

The same essentially applies today.

However, instead of firmly placing your challenge coin on the bar to initiate a coin check, you can raise your coin in the air and shout that you’re initiating a check. You could also accidentally initiate a check if you inadvertently drop your challenge coin.

In addition, to succeed in a challenge, you must have your challenge coin within arm’s length from you. If you don’t, well — tough luck.

Now, naturally, you may refuse to buy drinks for everyone if you end up losing the challenge. Note, however, that this is a detestable crime — one that may require you to return your coin to the agency that issued it to you.

And another thing: Challenge coin checks are allowed anytime and anyplace. So, be prepared.

Coins Today

If you receive a challenge coin today, you’ll likely get it via a secret handshake. This isn’t always the case, but it is a tradition upheld by many.

You can receive a challenge coin by being a part of a police department or fire department or by being involved with the Boy Scouts or the Lions Club, for example. The challenge coin has become a highly collectible and long-lasting way for people to show their allegiance anyplace and anytime.

How We Can Help

We offer high-quality, prestigious and custom-made coins for your organization. We are confident you will not find better craftsmanship anywhere else.

Our designers can use your emblems and colors to highlight the achievements and occasion you are interested in recognizing. Then, you’ll be able to review a proof showing you how your coin will look. If you see anything you don’t like, you can easily make the necessary changes to get your coin perfect.

You can expect your newly minted coins to show every detail of your design. And all of our products are individually packaged and shipped at no cost.

Get in touch with us today to find out more about the challenge coin and how we can deliver the perfect custom coins to you this year. Just fill out the price quote below to begin the process for your next custom challenge coin!

 

 

8 Designs You Can Create for Your Custom Commemorative Coins

How to Design Custom Commemorative Coins

Have you thought about the perfect design for your custom commemorative coins? Before you make a decision take a look at these excellent designs!

Looking for memorable designs for your custom commemorative coins?

Whether you need a unique emblem, a catchy bar challenge coin, or a serious memorial coin to boost the morale of your unit, a well-designed custom coin can help your organization.

Read on to find out some popular and interesting custom coin ideas to inspire you for your own creations!

1) Bar Coin Challenge Coins

custom challenge coinsMilitary challenge coins are meant to be carried and displayed with pride. If you aim to award your unit with coins they can use in bar coin challenges, then the coins should really stand out.

The challenge coin check is a popular game among servicemen. It’s played as follows.

One service member challenges another, or a whole group, to present their challenge coins. If the challenged party doesn’t have their coins with them, they must buy the challenger a drink. If everyone in the challenged party has their coins, the challenger has to buy everyone a round of drinks!

Bar challenge coins are a simple, funny, and a great way to build strong bonds among team members who have achieved a noteworthy goal. To be effective, you have to make the bar challenge coins small so they can be carried with convenience, but also catchy enough for servicemen to share a drink over their design.

2) Memorial Coins

challenge coinMemorial coins serve the original purpose of challenge coins. They remind servicemen of those who served before them, and of those who fought and fell bravely in the field.

These military coins are almost always serious and sometimes even somber. Their design is austere and invokes feelings of national pride. They boast flags, national symbols, and unit insignia.

For example, the Silent Service issues submariner memorial coins that list the hull number of every submarine that was lost defending the nation. There are many modern memorial coins that commemorate the US War of Independence, as well as the first and second world wars.

Memorial coins can also be used for police and firefighter units.

3) Animal Themed Coins

animal challenge coinAnimal themed coins are very popular among military units. They depart from the usual round design and boast all sorts of interesting shapes and colors.

Some of the most popular animal themed coin designs include coins in the shape of snakes, panthers, lions, bats, sharks, and eagles. Special operation units often issue coins that depict stealthy animals, or animals known for their ferocious ability in combat. Most recently, many units have started issuing batman-themed challenge coins in the shape of a bat.

The Naval Air Warfare Center in Orlando has issued a Mickey Mouse-shaped challenge coin that depicts submarines, destroyers, and aircraft carriers, but alludes to Disneyland, which is next to the center.

4) Wearable Coins

 

Sometimes commemorative coins don’t have to resemble a coin at all! Many units and companies create custom coins that can be worn. For example, belt buckle and dog tag coins are very popular and can really grab attention.

Both belt buckle and dog tag coins can also be used easily as bar challenge coins, because they are easy to carry and equally easy to present at a moment’s notice.

Necklace coins are less popular, because they are often made to resemble jewelry, but can be a good choice depending on whom are you awarding them to.

5) Key Chain Coins

Key chain coins are simply coins with an attachable chain. This gives them the added usability doubling as key chains. This smart design is easy to implement and costs next to nothing.

The only downside to key chain commemorative coins is that they tend to weigh a person’s key chain, especially if they have more than one. Also, the extra chain becomes a nuisance for people who don’t intend to use the coin as a key chain.

6) Usable Tiny Tool Coins

bottle opener challenge coin

One of the coolest design ideas, usable coins double as actual tools! Many mechanical units issue coins that resemble rulers, wrenches, combo spanners and even screwdrivers of tiny proportions.

These tools are all usable and can actually come in handy in the everyday lives of those who carry them.

Another very popular tool design is the bottle opener coin. You know you need a bottle opener when you’re going out, and these coins make for excellent bar challenge coins.

7) Vehicle-Shaped Coins

Naval and aerial units tend to spend a lot of time inside specific vehicles. Whether it’s a helicopter, a carrier plane or a destroyer ship, you get to practically live inside these vehicles for dozens of hours each month.

A vehicle-shaped coin will remind servicemen of the ship they serve on, and carrying one around is a great way to strike a conversation with other servicemen.

8) Funny Coins

challenge coin customNot all commemorative coins have to be serious to be unique. Seasonal coins, joke coins, and even plain silly coins are a great choice to lighten up the atmosphere or add a tone of color in your unit.

Servicemen leaving a long deployment are often awarded a South Park-themed coin that reads: “SCREW YOU GUYS. I’M GOING HOME!”, and many units feature their own inside jokes on their challenge coins.

Finding the Perfect Custom Commemorative Coins

So, are you looking for top quality custom coins? Check out Custom Challenge Coins, your one-stop-shop for an exhaustive array of custom commemorative coins.

With fifteen years of experience in the field, we develop some of the best custom coin designs in the world, featuring unique artwork and top-tier craftsmanship.

If you’re out of ideas, the experts at Custom Challenge Coins will help you get the design your unit deserves, and ship the coins to you free of charge with reputable courier services.