The practice of awarding recognition to say military officials by handing over mementos slowly transformed into awarding them with challenge coins. This recognition was started to mark the respect of the members in US Armed Forces. Later, law enforcement agencies also started using the Law Enforcement challenge coins. Other Government Agencies, Brands and Associations use these coins. They are also used on the occasions of Sports and Events, Weddings, anniversaries, birthdays. Companies and professional organizations have also started using these challenge coins as recognition of their employees and sometimes as their business cards. Police departments also use Police challenge coins.
Challenge coin is nothing but a medallion or small coin containing the logo of the presenting organization. The main purpose behind the issue of such coins is to identify team spirit and brotherhood. The persons carrying or wearing the same feel exalted and expose a sense of pride. The employees receiving these coins feel their morale is boosted in the workplace.ce.
The designs of the coins range from simple sketch in the initial periods to complex conceptions, thanks to the technology developments over the years. Each constituent that comprises the coin can be of any design that suits individual ideas. The coins of late contain besides the insignia, embossed specialty etching, photographic imprints, display of contents on either sides, mottos/ some messages/ themes, colors/ enamel colors or array of attracting shades
The metal used to make such coins initially was brass; then different metals like Zinc alloy castings, gold, silver, bronze, nickel and copper emerged. Some coins, like, die struck ones, assume a far superior numismatic quality. Since the coins are used for special occasions for certain deserving people, uniqueness or exclusivity is the essential characteristics and its theme would accordingly be specially designed to mark the occasion.
Since the coins have high sentimental values attached to them, the price is not the criteria. Even if the cost is low, the recipient will consider it precious as it is in recognition of his service or accomplishments or an occasion. Many people continue to preserve the coins, presented to them as the reminiscence of pride and association. They will not part with it on any account or further gift it to anyone.
A lot of companies either through their own professional designers or outsourcing manufacture and ensure timely deliveries to their clients. Discounts will also be considered on negotiation basing on a quantity / design, etc. There are Army challenge coins, Distinct military coins, Navy challenge coins, Commemorative custom challenge coins.
Agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), National Security Agency (NSA) and Fire and Rescue Department use Law Enforcement Challenge coins.
Federal Reserve Police, Interpol officials and Investigation wings under the police departments and use Police challenge coins. While foreign dignitaries visit, these special coins are exchanged. Some highly prestigious companies use the Custom challenge coins as a marketing tool for promoting their products.