What Not Online Auctions

HomeNumismatic TermsChallenge Coin: What Are These Colorful Mementos?

Challenge Coin: What Are These Colorful Mementos?

An assortment of challenge coins from Charles Morgan's personal collection.
An assortment of challenge coins from CoinWeek Editor Charles Morgan’s personal collection.

A challenge coin is a small coin or medallion issued by any number of public or private organizations but most frequently associated with branches of the military. It usually features an organization’s emblem, insignia, icon, symbol, or mascot.

Organization members are unofficially “required” to have one on their persons in case they are “challenged” (hence the name). The individual with a coin from a more significant giver is considered the winner of the challenge. The challenge and its resolution tend to be ritualized in a military setting but similar formalities exist in civilian organizations, such as law enforcement.

In the military, challenge coins are often handed out by high ranking officers and Sergeant Majors–typically at a battalion level or higher–and given to soldiers that either work on a special detail (like serving as a general’s driver) or have been recognized for their actions by a medal holder.

They are also sold through various channels as souvenirs.

* * *

CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Park Avenue Numismatics Gold and Silver Bullion

L and C New Arrivals

Blanchard and Company Gold and Precious Metals