As of 2016, there were about 20.4 million American veterans. The amount of veterans in the United States is sure to rise, and with that comes an increase in military challenge coins.
The challenge coin's history originates in the armed forces--they're meant to boost morale in the military. In fact, military challenge coins are often given out as a reward or as a representation of a certain organization. The coins often have military logos printed on them and sometimes show the number of years the recipient served.
You don't have to have a relation to the military in order to use challenge coins, but you have to learn the rules. There's a certain etiquette you should abide by when using the challenge coins. Whether you're giving someone a coin or initiating a coin check, keep some of these challenge coin rules in mind.
What Exactly Is a Coin Check?
You should know what the coin challenge game is before you actually play it. Traditionally, when a service member or veteran initiates a coin check, they're trying to connect with other veterans and military members.
A person can yell or call out that they're starting a coin check. They also have the option to loudly slam their coin on a hard surface like a table or on the floor, so listen carefully.
Be careful not to accidentally drop your coin on the floor--you'll automatically start a coin check. This is a punishment for not taking good care of your coin.
Everyone who owns a coin has to show it during coin checks. Make sure you always carry your coin with you, as coin checks can happen at any time.
Military Challenge Coin Etiquette
Challenge coins are honorable symbols that deserve to be taken care of. If you're an owner of challenge coins, remember these rules for the next time you hit the bar or hang out with your buddies.
Always Explain the Rules
The game's rules should always be explained to anyone who has been given a coin. It's unfair to initiate a coin check when you haven't explained the rules beforehand.
Stay Close to Your Coin
Try to keep your coin somewhere on your person. If you're seen without your coin during a check, you'll be responsible for buying drinks. You won't be able to redeem yourself that night either, as you can't be challenged more than once.
Not only is it important to carry your coin at all times, it's also important not to put it down far from your seat. You'll lose the game if you have to take more than four steps to get to your coin.
Challenge With Caution
If you're thinking about starting a challenge the next time you're at the bar with your friends, you should know that there could be some consequences. When everyone who's challenged pulls out a coin, you'll be paying for all of their drinks.
Don't Hand Over Coins
Putting your coin in someone else's hand during a challenge means that you're giving it to them. Instead, showcase the coin on a table, hold it in the palm of your hand, or hold it up. Anyone who wants to take a closer look at the coin is obligated to bring it back to its spot.
Don't Lose Your Coin
You'll need to immediately replace your coin if you happen to lose it. Keep in mind that you aren't exempt from the game even if you lost your coin. That means you'll be paying for a ton of drinks.
Challenge Coins Aren't Jewelry
You shouldn't wear your coin like a bracelet or belt buckle. Definitely, don't drill a hole in it to make a necklace. If you want to carry it around your neck, you can put it in a pouch that doubles as a necklace.
Try to keep your coin as clean as possible. Dirty coins are a sign of disrespect.
Challenges Can Happen Anywhere at Any Time
Don't be blindsided by the next coin check. Always remember to take your coin with you before leaving the house because checks can happen at any place and time.