Decades have passed since the first time challenge coins were used. It was written that at the end of World War Two, American soldiers stationed in Germany conducted “penny checks” at their checkpoints using German coins.
Since then, the use and popularity of challenge coins spread within the military ranks. Historians said that although the beginnings of military coins remain unknown, there were stories that during the Roman Empire, military commanders gave coins to soldiers after coming from battles. It was also said that instead of spending the coins, soldiers kept them as souvenirs because of their high value and quality.
Many non-military personnel may not be familiar with challenge coins. Therefore, challengecoins4less will share some facts and “magic” of these coins.
Challenge coin saved French soldier’s life
During the First World War, a squadron commander gave medallions to his pilots. Their unit’s insignia was inscribed in the coins that made their identification easy.
In one of their missions in Germany, a plane was shot down by enemy fire. Luckily, the pilot was able to eject from the plane and used his parachute to land safely on the ground. However, he was captured by the enemies and was held as a prisoner of war. They took all his personal belongings except for a bag containing the medallion given by his commander.
With luck, he managed to escape from his captors and made his way into France. Unfortunately, he was charged with espionage in France. Although the provisions of the Geneva Convention about espionage were not clear, his execution was ordered.
However, before he was executed, a French soldier recognized his medallion and the insignia inscribed in it. Like a sleight of hand in magic, he was released and was able to rejoin his unit later.
Challenge coins as morale booster
Soldiering is a profession that is different in many ways from other professions. One big difference is the kind of life that soldiers live. Most of the time, they are away from their families and their lives are in danger. Soldiering is the only profession where lives are offered for the benefit of others.
Their dedication to the military service is indubitable. And like any other people, soldiers also want recognition. One way to recognize their sacrifices is by awarding them with military challenge coins. The coins boost their morale and make them feel their belongingness and importance to their groups.
Challenge coins for identification
Challenge coins share similar purpose with patches, ID cards, and military “dog tags”. Like the French soldier mentioned earlier, soldiers are identified easily by showing their coins to challengers. Usually, the coins are also inscribed with the name of the military unit of the holder that makes identification easier.
The VIPs and the challenge coins
There was information that high ranking government officials have their own challenge coins. The United States Presidents and Vice Presidents give out commemorative coins to selected recipients because they are limited in number.
Former United States Defense Secretary Robert Gates gave challenge coins to soldiers when he visited them in Afghanistan in 2011. He did it by concealing the coins in his palm and surprised the soldiers when he shook their hands. That handshake was later called the “secret handshake”.
Challenge coins in a non-military context
Challengecoins4less provides challenge coins for non-military organizations.
Today’s challenge coins are no longer exclusive for the military. Likewise, most of these coins are not used for coin challenges. Companies give out these coins as tokens of appreciation for their employees’ productivity. They also give them as souvenirs to their employees and guests during special celebrations.
You may be interested in acquiring challenge coins for your organization. Whether you belong to a military unit or a private entity, you can choose from a selection of coins offered by challengecoins4less.com. By visiting their website, you will be given the procedure on how you can get your coins.
You can also customize your coins by giving them the details. Their talented design artists will work on your details to give you the best challenge coins you need.
The prices of their high-quality and artistically designed challenge coins are reasonable. At challengecoins4less.com, you are assured of an honest and excellent service.
From the penny checks after the Second World War to today’s coin challenges, the tradition of challenge coins live on. The “magic” that those coins give their holders are priceless.