You might have come across people yelling “Coin check!” on one of your drinking parties and you must have wondered what it was all that about. They were most probably just playing a drinking game using their challenge coins. If you never knew about these coins until now, don’t worry about it because you are not alone. Many people aren’t aware of it unless they’re part of the military, police, or fire department. On the other hand, you might already have it in your collection without knowing how it’s commonly used.
Challenge coins are those 3-diameter coins or medallions that usually bear a name and an emblem. These coins are made of copper, nickel or pewter and can have a variety of finish such as bronze, gold, and silver. Just to be clear, these coins do not have any monetary value and could not be used to buy things. A coin’s value, however, depends on what it represents.
If you have come across challenge coins, you will notice their different designs. As it reflects the personality of a specific unit, each coin design is unique from another unit’s. As a side note, if you wanted to have a challenge coin and you have no idea on how to design it, you can probably ask some professionals to style it for you. Anyway, coin designs are very varied. It can be very simple or very complex depending on the organization which it represents. These are generally used for the sake of identification and are carried at all times by members of a unit or organization. After all, the coins build morale and promote the team’s camaraderie or brotherhood.
These coins have deep roots in the military and its origin was dated back to as far as World War I. The coin was also taken as a sign of a warrior. In the Roman Empire, soldiers were rewarded coins for their show of valour or as recognition for their achievements. In the military, it became a longstanding tradition for members to keep their coins within arm’s reach. To ensure that this tradition is upheld, the coin check was developed.
The coin check is a challenge that can be made by anyone who owns a challenge coin. You can initiate a coin check by displaying your coin in any means possible and expressly stating your intention for a coin check. If you are the one being challenged, you can respond by displaying your coin in the same manner. The person who was unable to respond correctly would be given a penalty. In cases where everyone responded correctly, the challenger will be the one given the penalty. You usually buy drinks for the team as penalty in coin checks. Also, be very careful in handling your challenge coins,as dropping them could initiate an accidental coin check. You could very well end up spending all your money paying drinks for your buddies! The coin check can be initiated at any time and any place, so you better not lose your coins and keep them around at all times!
Challenge coins are not just used for identification or games but are also given as a show of appreciation or recognition of a job well done to civilians. Some give it simply as a sign of connection. In the military, coins are given by way of a handshake. Some called this the “secret handshake” wherein the giver puts the coin in his hand and while in a supposedly normal handshake, turns over the coin to another. This happens in the blink of an eye and is as inconspicuous as possible. If you’re feeling up to it, you could keep your eye out for those secret handshakes in the future.
At Challenge Coins 4 Less, challenge coins are the absolute best in the business. We produce custom coins for all branches of US Military.