When military units are deployed for special assignments, there is a long-standing custom in each branch of service to honor these missions and recognize the service of these brave men and women. As a special memento, custom military challenge coins are created for each member of the unit. These coins are treasured by their owners, as they symbolize both gratitude for their service and remind them of unique bonds created with other members of the unit. Usually these challenge coins are custom designed for one particular unit during a certain period of time, and printed in limited quantities.They are given to members of all branches of the military; the Navy, Air Force, Marines, Army, National Guard,and Coast Guard all participate in this custom.
Since these unique coins exist in limited numbers, they have become popular with coin collectors and military history buffs. There are thousands of coins which can be collected, with some being much more difficult to find than others. Naturally, the more rare a coin is, the more it is worth. Many collectors may search for months or years to find certain coins to complete their collection.
Military challenge coins are often treasured as family heirlooms. These mementos of service are important not only to the service members they were given to, but to their families as well. Often these coins are kept by families and proudly passed down for generations, to remember a grandparent and his sacrifices for his country.
The idea of giving challenge coins as recognition for service has been passed on to the private sector as well. Challenge coins make excellent awards for members of civic groups who accomplish certain goals or achieve important milestones. The same companies who design and print military challenge coins can also design coins to reflect a variety of other organizations or individual accomplishments.