Being part of an organization has its perks. After all, why would you join such in the first place? In order to claim some perks, you need to prove your affiliation to the group. One of the proofs often used is a challenge coin. The practice of rewarding, acquiring and using challenge coins is a military tradition; hence, it is named as military coins as well. But at the present time, the tradition is practiced beyond the military, by individuals who are not part of the military. Because of such, the reasons in getting these coins multiplied. Some of these reasons are as follows:
• Boost morale
In the US military, those who rendered commendable services will be given a medallion or coin. This is similar to the ancient tradition in Rome where soldiers received a special coin for fighting well. The ancient Romans may opt to exchange the coins for goods and services because the coins were considered as mediums of change or currency. On the other hand, the present-day military coins are not considered as actual currency but some individuals are willing to buy them. In spite of their value, receivers of military coins opted to keep their coins. It’s because these coins serve as symbols of valor.
Due to its symbolism, challenge coins are being pursued by members of the military of different ranks and positions. They strive to perform well in their duties. Once they get hold of these coins, they become more motivated to do better so they could acquire more. A lot of these men carry their coins with pride.
• Build camaraderie
Organizations of various sizes and advocacies observe the coin tradition to promote cooperation and unity in the group. The uniformity of the coins serves as a symbol of their oneness.
• Prove affiliation
The most common story on the origin of the challenge coins tells that the coin was initially used to prove allegiance to the Allied Forces. It was used by a captive out of desperation and fear from an ally who first thought that the captive was an enemy.
Coins as proof of affiliation are used in certain circumstances. It could be for discounts or freebies in some allied sellers and stores. In some organizations, such as fraternities and sororities, these coins are used to avail special consideration. Members of the same group tend to favor each other. This can be observed in hiring processes.
• For collection
One apparently trivial reason to get a challenge coin is for one’s collection. However, you shouldn’t underestimate the enthusiasm of avid coin collectors in this hobby. They also contribute by sharing what they learned from studying their coin collections. Coin collectors are one of the most hard-working researchers in that field. Oftentimes, they collaborate with their fellow collectors. They also put their collections into display. These hobbyists find satisfaction in doing these things.
• Gain money
Some avid collectors resort to paying money to get hold of challenge coins. This is because some coins are really difficult to find. If you have old and strange coins, try researching online for their worth. You may also look for potential buyers at the forums of collectors. You can sell them online or you may opt to put an auction first.
Coins are made from various metals. Some are made from nickel, brass and copper. Rare coins are made from bronze, silver and even gold. Because of their components, these coins may be melted down to form new coins or jewels. You may opt to pawn or sell them as well.
• Being qualified to challenge and be challenged
A challenge coin won’t be called as such if not used for a challenge. The original challenge was a soldier should present his challenge coin after being challenged by a superior or an equal who presented his coin and challenge. Whoever fails in his task would order and pay for the drinks of the one who succeeded in the challenge.
Today, the challenges that use challenge coins vary from one group to another. Still, some rules are retained.