The main factors that differentiates custom coins from challenge coins is the coins’ purpose, tradition, and intended use. Custom coins are commonly used as mementos by organizations to commemorate special events and serve as promotional items, while challenge coins are used by service organizations to denote membership and carries a valued tradition.
At Coins For Anything, we have seen a wide variety of uses for custom coins. Large organizations like Walmart have created custom coins to give to their veteran employees, while Gibson guitars had coins embedded in the back of their custom guitars. Custom coins are also popular among foreign dignitaries and have even been used to commemorate weddings, memorial services, and event anniversaries. Many businesses use custom coins as business cards and for customer loyalty programs. Custom coins also make great promotional products for trade shows, as people are more hesitant to throw away a beautiful coin than a piece of paper. With so many different uses, custom coins have quickly grown in popularity among a variety of facets in modern society.
Challenge coins are mainly used by military organizations and are carried by members to show their affiliation to a particular unit. Almost all unit levels—from company to division—have a challenge coin made for their military members. These coins are provided to denote membership or for recognizing good merits and accomplishments.
Challenge coins that shows membership to an organization are expected to be carried by members at all times. Members in the group often “challenge”—asking other members to show their challenge coin—each other at bars and other drinking establishments. According to tradition, members who are not carrying their challenge coins will be responsible for purchasing drinks.
This challenge coin tradition has branched off from the military into several other service organizations. With many military veterans taking positions in public service organizations, such as FBI, CIA, police, fire and rescue organizations, the challenge coin tradition has quickly caught on. Organizations frequently engage in friendly competition, as they try to create the best-looking challenge coin for their group.
Whether clients order challenge coins or custom coins, it is important for the coin to be produced with the best quality and design, as it is a direct reflection of their organization. Coins For Anything is dedicated to producing top quality coins, so that our customers will be proud to show off their coin. By creating only the best, Coins For Anything’s custom coins and challenge coins are valued mementos that preserve memories of service and moments in time.