The Importance of Masonic Challenge Coins, Explained
What are masonic challenge coins, what do they mean, and why do they matter? We explain the answers in this insightful guide.
Mary's Chapel in Edinburgh, Scotland is recognized as the oldest proven Masonic lodge that exists anywhere in the world. While the practice may extend back that far, most people acknowledge 1717 as the official start date.
That year, nationally-organized Freemasonry first took root, with the development of what would later be known as the Grand Lodge of England. In theory, Freemason societies may even trace their histories all the way back to the Middle Ages, when stonemasonry guilds first started.
Throughout their rich and storied history, Masonic lodges have stood as symbols of integrity, honor, and valor. Masonic challenge coins embody these traits and distinguish esteemed members.
What are these coins, why do they exist, and where can you find them today? Today, we're taking a closer look.
What Do Masonic Challenge Coins Represent?
Before we dive into how to create your own designs, let's briefly discuss the importance of Masonic challenge coins. As these organizations developed throughout the 1700s, Freemasons needed a way to quickly identify their status and connect with other members of their fraternal groups.
Thus, the idea for the first Masonic challenge coins was born. These tokens became even more important as the Freemasonry movement continued to spread across the globe. Before long, there were myriad different groups spread across various regions.
By displaying their challenge coin, Freemasons can easily communicate their geographic location and point of origin. The coins also serve as visual reminders of the commitment that all society members are required to uphold. Freemasons prioritize several ideals, including:
- Obedience to the law
These individuals are called to actively serve both God and their community, showcasing these features at every turn. Challenge coins help them remember these duties and put them into practice.
How to Use a Masonic Challenge Coin
Few gifts are as meaningful or special as a challenge coin. Instantly, these coins convey a sense of brotherhood and solidarity, no matter how much time has passed.
This is especially the case with our Masonic challenge coins. While they originally served a solely functional purpose, society members can use Masonic challenge coins in a few different ways. Let's take a look at some of the most common applications.
To Initiate New Members
Any time a new brother is initiated into a specific Freemasonry order, a challenge coin is an ideal token to share. This initiates the new member and reminds him of his ongoing civic duties.
In the years that follow, he can keep the coin close by and use it as part of his introduction to others.
To Celebrate a Special Occasion
You can give a custom Masonic challenge coin to honor a special occasion or event that centers around your order. You even design ones centered around your specific lodge.
Memorable and affordable, these coins serve as valuable mementos and allow recipients to remember and recognize the role of the brotherhood in their lives.
To Commemorate a Graduation
Within Freemasonry, there are multiple orders, degrees, and ranks that you can achieve. One of those is the rank of Mark Master Mason. This is an appendant order that exists in certain Masonic jurisdictions, considered to be an extension of the Fellowcraft Degree.
When a Mason advances through these ranks, you can give a Masonic challenge coin as a token of your appreciation to their service and hard work. On this coin, you might add the HTWSSTKS emblem, which is a way to abbreviate the Mark Master Degree.
To Recruit Others
Masonic brotherhoods that are looking to expand can use custom-designed challenge coins to introduce new, prospective members to join their lodge. As you explain the different symbols on the coin, you can use this opportunity to share more about how Freemasonry works, the rich history it holds, and what they can expect.
Designing Your Custom Masonic Coins
Our design team can help you create a one-of-a-kind token that showcases your preferred Masonic challenge coin symbols. We offer a wide range of different design combinations that allow you to achieve limitless creativity.
You can browse through our extensive online gallery to view some of our most popular symbols. For a Masonic coin, some of the most popular selections include:
- The All-Seeing Eye: Symbolizes God watching over all
- The Apron and Gloves: Symbolizes living a life of purity and keeping your hands clean of sin
- The Square and Compass: Symbolizes acting justly and understanding your role in the universe
- The Letter G: Symbolizes God or geometry/math, often added alongside the Hammer and Compass
These are only a few of the many different symbols we can use to create your personalized challenge coin. We'll also work with you to turn your artwork into a special design at no extra cost. Together, we can turn your vision into reality!
In addition to the specific symbols you choose you can also adjust the size of your coin.
While most of our Masonic challenge coins are between 1.5 inches and 1.75 inches in size, you can select ones that are bigger or smaller. While smaller coins are easier to transport and share, a larger one allows space for more than one symbol. If you aren't sure which size you need, our team can walk you through the sizing options.
Other customizations available when you order through us include:
- Coin shape and color
- Coin metal (gold, silver, copper, black nickel, brass)
- One-sided or two-sided color
- Edging options (bevel, rope-cut, cross-cut)
Order Custom Masonic Challenge Coins Today
Masonic lodges continue to house some of the most distinguished and well-respected members of any community. The brotherhood pillars of respect, dignity, and charity are ones that we can all aspire to follow. Our custom masonic challenge coins are an ideal way to celebrate this rich tradition.
Whether you're sharing your story with a new recruit or congratulating a fellow Mason on a job well done, we'll help you design a personalized coin that meets your needs. When you're ready to get started, complete this quick form to receive a free, no-obligation price quote!