What Does It Mean To Be Given a Challenge Coin?



Does anyone from your family belong to the Army? Once in a lifetime, they might have the metal coins given to them for their promotions or bravery. It boosts their flawless performance on the battlefield or accomplishment of the missions. 


Sometimes, antique collectors amass challenge coins in their collections. So, what are those challenge coins, their material, and why are they so famous? We will discuss all these aspects in this guide. Let’s go through the history of the challenge coin also!!

What is a military challenge coin?

Challenge coins are custom medals or coins imprinted with logos or signs to show off the recognition of the personnel. In the military, such coins are crucial as an award or unit symbol.


Origin of Challenge Coins


Challenge coins seem to be today’s invention, but they are not. They have been here for centuries— you won’t believe but centuries have passed since the first use of such coins.


Their origin comes from the Roman Empire, where fighters were awarded as a sign for their cavalry. They are now part of ceremonies, militaries, and corporate sectors.


After the Roman Empire, its evolution comes from World War I. The purpose of using such was to:


  • Recognize the military units
  • Understand the members


In the 21st century, it has rapidly grown due to better technology and adequate resources. Now, manufacturers prepare high-end challenge coins for better durability.

Materials and Types

personalized silver coins

Challenge Coins have various types based on their uses. We have listed the primary types.


  • Military Coins are unique coins used as a recognition for the military. These are made of specific compositions and show off the glamorous performance of military personnel.
  • Corporate Coins. For all brand owners, this is the correct type of challenge coin. It helps in the recognition of the employees of a specific company. Brands distribute such coins to promote their new products or attract consumers.
  • Custom Coins. Manufacturers prepare such coins on demand. Users can specify the designs and print whatever they want. Handcrafted writings and designs are also possible with the custom coins.
  • Geocaching Coins are a source of fun. Some people use them as a tracker when going on a shopping adventure or walking in a park. Whatever challenge coin you have originates from different metals and materials. Here are a few composition materials for the challenge coin!!
  • Base Metals are the fundamental metallic parts of a challenge coin. Some top metals include Brass, nickel, copper, or zinc alloy. Each metal has a distinct feature and helps in the better finish of the surface.
  • Finishes. If you want an antique finish, use gold or some expensive metals such as silver for a good look!
  • The enamel helps in filling the recessed areas. The addition of this material is quite effective in creating a smooth surface and excellent finish on the external surface.
  • Plating. Do you want the luxurious appearance of your coins? Well, gold is the first choice. If you don’t opt for it, then choose silver or bronze. Copper is a decent choice for the surface plating. 
  • Edge options. Not all challenge coins have smooth edges. Some come with sharp edges made with diamond materials. Intricate edges with the diamond create another scenario to show off your glamor!!

What does a challenge coin show?

create a challenge coin

Have you recently been to an event? Maybe you have got a challenge coin printed with the company name!! If that is the case, they probably want some promotion.


There are a few cases in which challenge coins play a big deal in brand recognition!! Here are four use cases of the challenge coins in real-life applications.




If you are a military person, you might know what membership means. In actuality, military units receive challenge coins for membership. Before commencing a war, they receive coins that remain a sign of participation. Sometimes, when militaries do the exercises between different units, it can be used as a recognition, too!!


In the Roman era or World War period, it was used as a symbol for membership. Owners showed and received their respect!



engraved coins

In the military, it is a trend to give the challenge coin as an award. The cases can be:


  • If you have outperformed on the battlefield.
  • You have outclassed the others in training.
  • Mission accomplishment gets you the challenge coins.


Challenge coins are also part of corporate offices. For example:


  • Officers and managers award their top employees with the challenge coins.
  • If an employee surpasses all the expectations in a project, they might receive recognition for their efforts!


A whole team also recognizes the challenge coins as a unit symbol.



Catch all your memorable events and decorate your gallery!! There are many events in which you can decorate the challenge coins for remembrance.


  • As a deployment memory
  • Retirement of an employee
  • Anniversary of the wedding
  • Corporate events
  • Promotions
  • Missions completion 


All these events are the highlight of the military challenge coin serve!


design your own challenge coin

One of the most common and dominating uses of the challenge coins is in branding. International brands invite buyers and global suppliers to their events and give them the challenge coins.


What do those challenge coins contain? They contain:


  • Event name
  • Brand name
  • Logo
  • Taglines


Some businesses add memorable business lines, also. What benefits them? It is a free promotion of their brand. Wherever the coin owner goes, people are impressed with the coin’s beauty and learn about the brands.


Such a branding technique has revolutionized the industry.




The primary use of a challenge coin is for recognition. Whether individual recognition or a branded one, it turns the table in the brand’s favor!!


Military challenge coins help in the recognition of officials and soldiers. Specifically, when the soldiers are at war, they can show their challenge coins and recognize themselves. In the offices, it can also show high-grade officials such as executive members.

What does it mean when you get a challenge coin?

custom coins no minimum

We are not sure why you have received a challenge coin. It depends on the scenarios and location.


Here are a few cases with the purpose of a challenge.


  • If you are at a Google event, you have probably received a challenge coin with the Google logo and tags. In that case, you have a corporate coin for promotional purposes
  • An employee at an office can receive a challenge coin with a monthly bonus for outstanding performance. Such a coin shows the AWARD!! Military cases come under this type.
  • If you have a challenge coin as an employee of IBM, it is recognition!! You can show it for the entry.
  • Sometimes, business people relish the parties. Instead of sending invitations, they try a new and traditional way of sending challenge coins. So, it is an entry ticket for you!


Based on the event, purpose, and reason, you can decide why you are awarded the challenge coin.


How do you get a challenge coin?

custom military coins

It can be tricky because we have already discussed the reason behind a challenge coin. At times, you are a manager of a company or army personnel and need to reward your juniors for motivation. In that case, you can dig out the top companies to get a challenge coin.


Here are a few steps to get a challenge coin.


Think about the design 


A detailed and creative design is crucial. Whether looking for good branding or promoting products, settle for the best design. Hire the graphics designers and get some templates. Speak about your expected design and get your first design on the screen. It is better to get different variants of a single design.

Find a manufacturer 


Now, you must have a manufacturer to accept your custom medals request. Medal Factory China can customize your designs. Submit your challenge coin designs. 

Prepare prototype 


Don’t go for the bulk order directly. Instead, get a list of previous orders from a manufacturer. Check the quality. If satisfied, you can get your prototype. Now, test your prototype material, quality, and design. Does it look appealing? Print your company name or brand logo to show off your creativity.

Ship your medals

Are you 100% sure about your bulk order? Well, that is easy. What is difficult about shipping? Most metal suppliers don’t export to international countries. Moreover, you have to handle the customs clearance and pay the import duties. Also, get insurance for your order.


Sift through the top shipping companies and get the quote for your order. Compare the quotes among different companies. Go for fast shipping yet at affordable costs.



Are you embarking on your journey toward the challenge coins? One thing our experts recommend is— GET QUALITY!! Customize your challenge coins and explore more designs. For that, you need a quality manufacturer!!


Well, we also have the number one choice in the town— Metal Awards Factory. Please pick up the quality medals and show off their crafted designs. Boast your military milestones. Check out the custom medals now!

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