Enlisting is not an easy decision to make. People who make a living by risking their lives for the greater good of a country and its people are truly admirable. Soldiers leave their families behind to protect them as well as those whom they barely know. They fight for a cause and have one foot in the grave when deployed.
Different types of medallions are given to those who have shown exemplary service in various military branches. One of these keepsakes comes in the form of custom military coins. These coins showcase one’s participation in this esteemed organization. A wide array of designs is used for these coins. Some of the essential components of one of these coins’ designs include the battalion insignia, military branch, and its slogan. Although older coins come in the traditional rounded shapes, new ones can be designed to carry an assortment of details and fabricated in various shapes and forms.
The origins of challenge coins can be traced back to ancient Roman times. Back then, these coins held a monetary value. These served as payment for a soldier’s daily wages. Some soldiers also received these coins as bonuses. He may get a larger coin or one made from a more valuable type of medal if he performed well in battle. These particular coins were made especially for soldiers. They carried a monetary value but were not accessible to outsiders. When the coin is spent by officials, the receiver is obligated to melt the coin for reminting.
The earliest custom military coins were created specifically for soldiers. They were minted to carry specific details like the legion from which the soldier came from. Soldiers placed a higher value on these coins because of their sentimental element. This is when they began keeping the coins as treasured mementos instead of spending them.
In the military these days, soldiers can be decorated with patches and medals. What makes the challenge coin special is that it serves as a legitimate proof of identity. Especially during the First World War, plenty of soldiers were able to escape prosecution and execution because they were able to hold onto their challenge coins.
Custom military coins are referred to as challenge coins for a reason. The tradition started as the Second World War was about to end. It happened in Germany. A number of American troops who were stationed there at the time had a protocol which they called pfennig checks. These pfennigs were German coins that carried the lowest denomination.
The troops resorted to these checks for fun. Basically, when a pfennig check is called and a soldier does not happen to have one with him, he is obligated to treat the rest of the regiment to a round of beers. What started with the pfennig eventually led to the use of their regiment challenge coins. The same concept applied. When a check was called, each soldier must slam their coins on the bar. The one without his coin pays for the drinks.
These days, the rise of commercially available custom military coins has made it easier for the troops to have their unique coins made and distributed. The new technology also allows for better, more durable materials to be used. These new coins last longer and look better making them even more collectible as they can carry the most elaborate of designs.
Being commercially available does not reduce the value of officially-issued custom military coins. They still signify one’s service and dedication to the country. These still symbolize sacrifice and patriotism. The most important symbolism that these coins carry is that of camaraderie.