There are many different specialties involved in coin collecting. One of these is collecting Challenge Coins.
Challenge Coins are the coins that are a small coin or medallion, the bears an organization’s emblem or insignia. They are most frequently minted for the U.S. Military or sometimes for Police organizations. They are given out for a variety of reasons, including to prove membership in an organization, or to increase morale or build spirit.
The origins of the military challenge coin is the subject of much debate. Some of the first coins were the United States Army Air Service coins that were minted and handed out during World War I, and later during World War II.
Air battle and warfare was a new issue and when the Army created their first flying units the pilots were volunteers from all different walks of civilian life. One of the legends is that the first Army Air Units were all given small bronze coins or medallions to show they were members of the first elite Army Air pilot units.
No matter the origin, the current number and variety of military challenge coins makes it a very worthwhile area of coin collecting. There are coins from every era since the early 1900s, and they are given to members of military units to honor their membership, to improve morale, and also as a special occasion and at special events.
Commanders also sometimes will have a special version of a military Challenge coin. Called a Commander’s Coin. These are coins that are often given out by military Generals and commanders at gatherings of soldiers, and sometimes civilians, to help boost morale and for recognition by the Commander or General of some special honor.
Challenge coins are fun to collect, and they have a unique history. They can be some of the most expressive coins, often they bear the military or unit insignia, and can be very colorful to collect. There are some sites on the Internet that sponsor trading and sales of these types of military Challenge coins. There are also coins that are produced for some different police organizations across the United States, and in some other countries internationally.