There is a special tradition being followed in the military which promotes not only the unity among all the military units but also to boost the morale of each soldier – and that is to give out and collect custom military coins. These custom military coins, which are fully customizable, differ between branches and units. These coins show which military unit a soldier came from.
Custom military coins are also known as challenge coins or memorial coins. These coins can range from inexpensive ones to coins which are made of the highest quality of materials possible. Nowadays, these coins are not only collected in the military, it is also becoming popular in the general public as well. Some organizations and clubs are now using these coins in their own ways but with the same concept and meaning – to show recognition and gratitude to a group or individual.
Most custom military coins are bigger than an ordinary coin. These coins’ sizes range from 1.5 inches to two inches in diameter. They can go as thick as 1/10 inches with designs which vary from the preferences of the designer. Contrary to what others think, these coins can be made not only in a round shape but also in different shapes as well, with shapes like shield, star, pentagon and even in a dog tag shape too.
These coins can be made out of different kinds of metals (which also give each coin a different kind of finishing) such as brass, nickel, copper, silver and even gold. Military coins made from gold are considered as limited kinds and are usually given to people with the highest award and recognition as possible. Adding different designs is also an option with military coins; some coins have an engraving of the military unit on one side and the logo at the other; some even have the picture of the military unit they are in on both sides. Almost any kind of symbol can be engraved onto the coin and adding different colors is possible with these kinds of coins.
The Military Coin Challenge
There is a special traditional game being played by all coin bearers in the military – the Military Coin Challenge. This game was believed to start during the First World War. American soldiers were known to play a game called “pfennig check”. Once a call out was made, each soldier would need to check if they have a pfennig (an old coin in Germany with the lowest monetary value) with them. Any soldier who will not be able to show a pfennig would need to buy some drinks (mostly alcoholic beverages) for those who were able to show a pfennig during the check.
The tradition was passed on and later changed from passing of pfennig to passing of military coins. This tradition was practiced by all members of the military who bear a coin to make sure that each coin bearer brings their military coin all the time. Any member of the military or unit can initiate the challenge of coin check-up. This challenge can be made in a bar, in a restaurant, in the field, in the locker room, and even in the sleeping area. If a soldier cannot show or do not have his or her military coin, then, that person would need to buy a round of drinks for all the soldiers who were able to show their military coins. Moreover, if all challenged soldiers were able to show their military coin, then, the challenger who initiated the game would need to buy a round of drinks for all the soldiers who participated in the challenge.