Challenge coins have been distinctive tokens of esprit de corps and achievement among the armed forces for decades. With increasing options from custom coin manufacturers, challenge coins are gaining popularity among other organizations such as civic groups, police departments, religious groups, and motorcycle clubs. Challenge coins are tangible precis of significant accomplishments, events and memories. Following these five tips will help make collecting these medallions an enriching, rewarding pastime.
Which Coins to Collect
Every coin collection will reflect the interests and tastes of the collector. Upon beginning a collection, determine what types of coins are of import: those that represent a branch of the armed forces, a certain span of years, a specific military operation, or other significant distinctions.
Beginning with Care
Start small to give room for discovering what is most appealing. Choose the best-looking affordable coins. Seek expert advice from coin aficionados and manufacturers for insider tips.
Where to Look for Challenge Coins
The proliferation of fake coins has mushroomed in response to the growing appeal of challenge coins. To lessen the risk of being scammed, seek out reputable dealers who have been in business for a long time. Auction sites and coin manufacturers can be reliable sources for coins, but let the buyer beware. Due diligence is key to obtaining authentic challenge coins. It is quite possible to find genuine challenge coins at flea markets or estate sales as well.
How to Understand a Coin’s Value
The individual or group that presents the coin affects the coin’s worth more than anything. Coins from well-known units or people will attract higher prices. However, coins from popular people or units are not automatically rare. Some officers bestow dozens of coins each year, while some only award a handful.
How to Verify a Coin’s Authenticity
Before spending a considerable amount to buy any coin that appears to represent a military unit, contact that unit to verify that the coin is authentic. Contact the unit’s executive officer, first sergeant or the staff of a higher officer. Additionally, coin manufacturers can inform you about a coin of interest. Reputable companies do not sell coins minted for others unless permitted by the unit commander that originally ordered the coins.
Units often have two editions of their coins: one from the senior officer and another from the unit’s booster club. Booster club coins can be obtained from the unit. They are more common than commander’s coins, but they are official and exciting to collect nonetheless.
Challenge coins encapsulate masterful artistry, profound meaning and colorful history, which makes them some of the most sought-after coins for collectors. Although challenge coins have usually been awarded to soldiers for exceptional service, they hold immense value to hobbyists from many walks of life, civilians as well as former or active military members.