Are you looking for a new hobby the entire family can partake in? Why not consider a challenge coin collection? With a rich history, everyone’s sure to love it.
There’s something special about nabbing that last coin you need for your collection. You slide it into place, and voila — your challenge coin collection is complete.
If you love challenge coin collections, you’re not alone. On the flip side, if you’ve never heard of these collections, you’re also in good company.
Challenge coin collections are some of the best-kept secrets that aren’t really secrets. Either you’ve never heard of them or you love them and can’t get enough of them — not a lot of gray area.
If you’re looking for a new hobby the entire family can partake in, why not consider creating a challenge coin collection? Here’s a look at why this hobby, with its rich history, may be the perfect addition to your life.
Let’s jump in!
What Are Challenge Coins?
Challenge coins are small metal pieces that are usually shaped like coins but can take on nearly any shape. Historically, they were used to represent individuals or organizations.
They were initially used to represent combat pilots, but then the concept caught like wildfire among the remainder of the U.S. military. A sacred tradition surrounded the first ones, which were used to identify downed pilots.
These days, groups ranging from fire departments to police officers, private businesses, the government and nonprofits all create their own custom challenge coins for their unique purposes.
Coins in the past were about an inch in diameter, but now, coins are around 1.75 inches in diameter. A coin’s face may be covered with a variety of symbols, images or words that represent a person or organization.
For instance, a colonel in the U.S. Army might have an eagle insignia on his coin to represent his rank. The coin might also feature his name, the emblem of his unit and even an inspirational quote or statement.
The Challenge Coin Collection Tradition
Challenge coins have traditionally been passed from an individual to another through a handshake. During the handshake, the coin is transferred from palm to palm.
This motion is intended to be secretive. It’s in alignment with the concept that challenge coins are informal awards. In other words, organizations, such as the military, do not officially recognize them.
A relatively noteworthy tradition associated with challenge coin collections has to do with drinking with coworkers.
Say, for instance, that Shelly, one of your multi-level marketing team members, presents her challenge coin. Anybody at your table must also present her challenge coin, ideally a coin from your shared organization.
If everybody presents his or her coin, Shelly must purchase a round of drinks for everyone. Meanwhile, if anybody doesn’t have her coin, this person has to buy the round.
This is one of several traditions surrounding challenge coins. You could easily start your own with your group or organization.
Challenge Coin Collection Tells a Fun Story
One of the best reasons to create such a collection? If you like stories, you’ll get your fill with these coins.
Challenge coins are unique in that they tell stories about organizations as well as about the individuals who have received or made the coins.
A Wide Variety of Custom Coins Are Available
Another reason to consider a challenge coin collection as your new hobby? The wide range of coins available will keep the hobby interesting for your entire family.
For instance, business coins — which are often handed out in lieu of traditional business cards — may feature company logos and other relevant ideas and symbols.
For example, perhaps a firm that helps people to manage their wealth could create its own coin featuring a stock market bear and bull. Meanwhile, an aerospace industry company might develop a coin with space rockets on it.
Among police departments and members of law enforcement at the federal level, you’ll mostly find professional-looking challenge coins.
Law enforcement members who use these coins include those in Homeland Security, the Secret Service, Customs and Border Protection, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
You can also find the coins of firefighters, Masons, and even sports teams to include as part of your challenge coin collection.
Boost Your Historical Knowledge
A major reason people love challenge coins is that they teach you about old events. Take the famous Morgan Silver Dollar, for instance, which is often equated with the legendary Wild West.
This association by itself has attracted numerous collectors to pursue these coins as parts of their collections. If you’re a history buff, you won’t be disappointed by how much you could learn about the past from your collection.
Boost Your Mental Health
Although you may not get much of a physical workout from creating your own challenge coin collection, you’ll definitely get a mental one.
Collectors are constantly learning about various aspects of coins, ranging from related historical moments to how rare coins came into being.
Learning is clearly great for the mind, but it’s also relaxing in a way because it’s not tied to your schoolwork, your job or your other everyday obligations.
In a way, collecting coins offers an escape from the mundane, allowing you to explore eras and events you may otherwise never know about.
Plus, as you develop your love for challenge coins, you’re sure to make some new friends each step of the way.
After all, you’ll find yourself in areas where you’ll meet people with similar interests. These may include, for instance, coin shows and shops. You could even join online social media groups focused on coin collections.
It’ll be simple to start conversations with those who share your new favorite hobby.
These connections may very well end up adding value to your life in unprecedented ways. You’ll end up feeling richer than you may have ever realized you could be with a beginner’s collection of challenge coins.
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