Collecting challenge coins is a popular hobby. There are several designs that feature the different branches of the military. This only means that there are hundreds of ways to collect these military coins. These coins are available online and you can also get them from local dealers at swap meets, coin shops, local collecting clubs, and flea markets. This hobby will not cost you that much since there are lots of them being manufactured at present. However, if you are the type of collector that wants to invest in some rare type of coins from the early decades, then you need to put a lot of money on it. Either way, these coins make an attractive display and are the perfect way to teach children about the history.
When it comes to how challenge coins started, there are more myths than facts. The widely accepted story stems from the Air Forces of the US Army. Based on the story, a rich officer ordered small tokens for each member of his squadron. Unfortunately, one of his pilots was captured by the Germans. They took all of his possessions except for the token which was placed in a pouch around his neck. He managed to escape the Germans and ended up in the hands of the French allies. His life was spared when one of the French soldiers recognized his token. After establishing his identity, he was able to return to his squadron alive.
The Many Uses of Challenge Coins
The story about the soldier who was saved by his coin shows how useful it is. At present, the uses of these coins are numerous. These coins are used to identify which squadron a soldier belongs. Aside from that, it is also used by soldiers to challenge one another. Soldiers would make it a point to carry their coins at all times, because they could be challenged to produce their coins whenever, wherever. If one were not able to do so, he would have to buy a round of drinks or would be asked to carry out some embarrassing or difficult task.
The Different Themes of Military Coins
These coins feature some of the important events in the military, navy, marines, coast guards, and other military units. The coin is a symbol of bravery and brotherhood. There are several types of coins, some of which include:
•Army Challenge Coin – one of the oldest types of challenge coins in existence and features weaponry, battles, and great soldiers
•Navy Challenge Coin – features great sea machines of war, such as aircraft carriers, destroyers, battleships, and submarines
•Marine Challenge Coin – features slogans and mottos as well as their mascots
•Air Force Challenge Coin – like the navy coin, it also features their jets, great bombers, and their arsenal
•National Guard and Coast Guard Challenge Coin – features their slogan and mottos as well as their logo
Tips for Displaying Your Coin Collection
Instead of keeping your coins in the basement, here are some ways you can show off your collection:
Albums and Binders
Use a vinyl or leather coin album to house your coin collection. Coin albums have gold-embossed leatherette covers, and may vary depending on the type of coin. You can display your Lincoln pennies, Buffalo nickels, Liberty dimes, and Indian pennies using the coin album. Binders have plastic waterproof sheets for bigger collections. The vinyl coin wallets are perfect if you need to bring along your collection.
Slabs and Cases
If you want to display a single valuable coin, coin slabs are the best option. Some slabs are acrylic, airtight cases with dark green or white inserts. These slabs are reusable and resalable. For special coins, you can use frosted cases that feature attractive backgrounds like Mount Rushmore engravings, buffalo images and Abraham Lincoln images for penny displays.
For displaying your challenge coins collection, there are lots of options you can choose from like wooden and glass domes, small flat frames, boxes, and airtight coin holders. Choose the one that will display your coins the way you want them to be.