Until recently, challenge coins were a distinguished part of military traditions. However, all this changed with custom-made challenge coins. Now, challenge coins have become a part of civilian life as well.
In the military, challenge coins are used to maintain camaraderie and the spirit of fellowship between soldiers and personnel. On the civilian side of things, challenge many have adopted coins as awards and tokens of appreciation. Some even use unique challenge coins to raise money for charity.
The Story Behind Challenge Coins
Challenge coins and the military go back a long way, but no one can agree upon exactly where it all began. There are several stories about how challenge coins came about.
Some people think we can trace the history of challenge coins all the way back to Emperor Maximus. It is believed that the emperor used to pay his company of legionnaires with stamped metal coins.
Others believe that challenge coins were first created by a wealthy officer during World War I for men. The story even states that the challenge coin saved a soldier from certain death by helping him prove his identity.
The military challenge coin tradition is said to have started during World War II. After the conclusion of the war, American soldiers stationed in Germany would carry out “pfenning” checks.
Any soldier who did not carry the German current would end up buying drinks for the rest of his unit.
This tradition continues to this day in the military. The only difference is that instead of pfenning checks, the officers use their challenge coins. If all the officers are carrying their challenge coins, then the one who initiated the check has to buy drinks. Fun, right?
What Challenge Coins Look Like
Typically, challenge coins do resemble coins. Though, they are bigger, almost about 2 inches in diameter and 1/10 of an inch in thickness.
That doesn’t mean that all challenge coins have to look alike. It is quite common to have challenge coins created in different sizes and shapes. For instance, challenge coins are also frequently seen in pentagon and shield shapes.
With custom-made challenge coins, the sky’s the limit. You can personally create whatever design, shape, and decoration you want your coin to have.
Coins are usually made from pewter, nickel, or copper. You can also choose to have an enamel coating on your challenge coin to make it look even more novel.
The point is how your challenge coin looks will depend on several factors, such as the reason why you’re creating a challenge coin, your profession or hobby, etc.
Music Challenge Coins
As stated above, challenge coins are a part of many civilian fields as well. Corporations, social and professional clubs, police and fire departments, even musicians, make use of challenge coins.
Over the years, the entertainment sector has devised various methods of showing appreciation to the artists and staff related to the industry. The music industry, in particular, has grown massively over the years. It has given us world-famous artists and unparalleled songs and melodies.
Artists like Shakira, Beyonce, and Rihanna have a massive global following and media presence. Their fans love them, and they love interacting with their fans. It is one of the ways that an artist can show appreciation to their admirers.
The music industry has devised several methods to appreciate and acknowledge the support artists receive from their not just their fans, but also their team-members and crew.
These methods of gratitude include special once-in-a-lifetime collectibles, celebratory items and awards. It is not unheard of for a band or a musician to have official merchandise, such as posters, t-shirts, bags, lapel pins, mugs, etc.
A more recent and popular method is challenge coins. Challenge coins are commissioned by singers and adopted by music groups.
These challenge coins are awarded to staff members for their hard work and dedication. Sometimes, challenge coins are auctioned keepsakes to raise money for a charity.
MusicRow, a Nashville music industry publication, gives out a special challenge coin every year to artists and songwriters who achieve a number one single, on the CountryBreakout Chart.
They even have a list of all the winners available on their website.
Where Else Have Music Challenge Coins Been Used?
Challenge coins have been used in many music festivals over the years.
For instance, the Lollapalooza music festival. This festival is held annually in Grant Park, Chicago. The festival goes on for four days. The music performed at this festival includes heavy metal, rock, alternative rock, etc.
Lollapalooza is famed for being the longest-running festival in the United States and is considered to be one of the largest music festivals out there.
Another notable music festival where challenge coins were used is the Essence Festival. The festival first took place in 1995 and has continued ever since.
The Essence is always held in New Orleans, Louisiana. However, in 2006, the festival was moved to Houston because of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. It is the largest African American music event in the U.S.
Other events also include the Alpine Music Festival and the Electric Forest Music Festival. The Electric Forest Festival was nominated as the “Festival of the Year” at the Electronic Music Awards.
How to Get Involved?
You might be wondering how you could make use of music challenge coins?
If you’re part of the music industry the answer is pretty simple. You can obtain custom-made music challenge coins for a number of reasons. From showing appreciation to fans and staff members, to raising awareness for a special cause and even, raising funds for a charity. The possibilities are endless.
Even if you’re not working in the music industry, you can still utilize music challenge coins at the workplace, at welfare events and any other social organization you are part of.
The concept behind challenge coins is simple. It is a very effective and exclusive way to promote unity, be it for harmony or a special cause.
Don’t waste another moment and enjoy the benefits that music challenge coins have to offer today!