Whether within the military, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guards, our custom-made military challenge coins have the load, quality, and gravitas to genuinely do justice to the integrity and bravado of our dedicated servicemen and ladies. No matter the reason for your military challenge coins project, we will help. We aim to please you, and our customer reviews prove it. We’d be honored to help you create a coin that is uniquely yours.
As for military challenge coins, tradition, history, and custom play an unlimited part in military challenge coins. They are not souvenirs or keepsakes but a logo of a better purpose, serving our country and being prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Our designers have extensive experience creating designs that reference past military challenge coins but aren’t outdated.
Let’s enjoy what’s military challenge coins:
Where Did Military Challenge Coins Tradition Come From?
Military challenge coins were never officially sanctioned, therefore the history behind the tradition is widely debated among military historians.
A common narrative purports that a wealthy American lieutenant in World War I distributed matching bronze coins to his unit members before they were deployed.
When an American pilot was captured by Germans and escaped to a French outpost, he was assumed to be a German spy — until he presented the military challenge coin around his neck. according to the tale, the military challenge coin saved his life — and earned him a bottle of French wine as reparation.
Other historians believe the tradition began in an infantry-run bar in Vietnam, where patrons were required to present enemy bullets or their military challenge coin upon entrance.
In keeping with either narrative, military challenge coins still earn service members their share of alcohol. Military members often tap their military challenge coins upon meeting during a bar — shouting, “Coin check!” — and anyone who either cannot produce one or is the last to point out it buys the first round of drinks.
How Has Military Challenge Coins Since Evolved?
Military challenge coins traditions have climbed to the absolute best ranks of the military. In 2011, Robert M. Gates, then the defense secretary, shook hands with us troops in Afghanistan, passing duplicates of military challenge coins to each one of them as a token of gratitude.
All presidents since Clinton have also carried distinctly designed military challenge coins to present to foreign dignitaries and military personnel. President George W. Bush often gave them to injured troops returning from the Middle East; President Barack Obama made a tradition of passing them to service members stationed at the stairs of Air Force One.
Military Challenge Coins Today
Military challenge coins became a kind of identification for military personnel however now have evolved into so much more. they have to be used to promote friendships, strengthen bonds and encourage success. they’re used for not only military personnel but military challenge coins also are a huge hit for school merchandise, church organizations, scout groups, Greek organizations, then far more.
Not only do military challenge coins promote individual strength and courage, but military challenge coins also inspire teamwork and camaraderie also. whether or not they become a keepsake or trading coins, military challenge coins are a superb way to show who you are and where you come from.
Appearance Of Military Challenge Coins
There are many finishes available—from simple pewter to 24K gold. While there are just some base metals, the patina (finish) can range from gold, silver, or nickel to brass, copper, or bronze—plus the antiqued variations.
Soft or hard enamel or a printed inset with an epoxy coating may add color (the epoxies are often more resilient and scratch resistant than the metal surfaces).
Cost Of Military Challenge Coins
Military challenge coins are moderately inexpensive to style and produce. There are two basic processes to manufacture: zinc-alloy castings or die-struck bronze.
Zinc alloy castings offer the advantage of low cost. Zinc casting also allows more flexibility in design like cutouts found on spinner coins or opener coins. While a die-struck bronze or brass coin is costlier, the result renders a far superior product.
As of 2010, coins manufactured in China and South Korea typically cost between US$2.50 to US$7.00 per coin, relying on the production process and complexity of design, enamels, voids, etc.
The dies must be sculpted by an artist and should range in cost from US$50 to US$300, relying on complexity. the worth of domestic manufacturing can be many times this amount.
In order to be competitive, most North American companies offering challenge coins depend upon having the product manufactured offshore. Many challenge coins are fabricated in South Korea, because the connection to the US military bases there’s strong, and costs are cheaper than those made within the US
Application Of Military Challenge Coins
Another organization during which military challenge coins have gained popularity is the “National Association of Buffalo Soldiers and Troopers Motorcycle Club” (NABSTMC), which has over 85 chapters totaling over 2,000 members. The military challenge coins coin must be earned by the members for a stimulating accomplishment.
In 2009, the Harley Owners Group (HOG) created and made available its own challenge coin to Harley-Davidson motorcycle owners.
In the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (IGEM), participants that won the ‘Grand Prize’ are given a military challenge coins challenge coin from 2016 on.
Varian Medical Systems, a medical device manufacturer, awards military challenge coins for notable accomplishments by its service personnel. an enormous number of Varian employees have military backgrounds, where many of them learn electronics and mechanical skills needed to support Varian equipment.
Media, Business, and Education
Numerous examples illustrate military challenge coins handed out in the media industry:
In 2020, a military challenge coin went viral when America’s largest challenge coin retailer released a coin about an occasion that occurred in Connecticut with Trooper Spina.
The Secretary of the State of Virginia sent a cease and desist to Louis “Uncle Louie” Gregory regarding a military challenge coin he created in 2020.
In his audio commentary for the DVD release of Iron Man 2, director Jon Favreau notes that he had Iron Man 2 military challenge coins made to distribute to us Air Force personnel as a gesture of thanks for their cooperation while the production (and its predecessor, Iron Man) filmed on location at Edwards Air Force Base.
Bill Prady, the chief producer of the large Bang Theory, gave the massive Bang Theory “executive producer’s military challenge coin” to the crew of the last space shuttle.
On the “Rockets” episode of Lock N’ Load with R. Lee Ermey, R. Lee (Gunny) Ermey presents a challenge coin to lieutenant Carr as a gift for being the “top gun” in his class with the Javelin Portable Rocket Launching System.
Members of the American Radio Relay League who are volunteer examiners may carry the VEC (volunteer examiner coordinator) military challenge coin.
These members are responsible for administering Federal Communications Commission sanctioned examinations that allow successful applicants to qualify as amateur radio operators in the three different license categories of technician, general, and amateur extra.
The crew of Breaking Bad was given military challenge coins designed by show creator Vince Gilligan for each new season.
Another military challenge coin was also included within the Blu-ray set of the whole series of the show.
Video game companies like Treyarch gave these military challenge coins with specific packages for the release of Black Ops 2.
The crowdfunded movie Lazer Team gave military challenge coins to its backers as an optional perk of funding the movie.
The military challenge coin is presented during a handshake to Gerard Butler’s character in the 2018 film Hunter Killer.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 had military challenge coins available for purchase commemorating their 30th anniversary on their 2018 30th anniversary “Watch Out For Snakes” Live Tour.
Meanwhile, examples can also be found in the realms of business and education. Many businesses are using corporate coins to acknowledge staff achievements, improve employee morale and reduce turnover,
For example, the Builders Association of the twin Cities (BATC) issued a military challenge coin highlighting their core values: “recruit, retain, grow.”
Also, St Mary’s University issued a coin honoring the overall public Safety Administration.
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