How to Build a Rare and Meaningful Challenge Coin Collection

posted by Chris Valentine

Are you looking to start a meaningful collection of challenge coins? Do you enjoy looking into the history of all the different coins that you gather and trade with others? If so, then you’ll want to learn how to get a rare and extensive challenge coin collection.

There are many custom challenge coins out there for you to get your hands on that have to do with the military, firefighter, and law enforcement symbols. It’s not just the style, but the meaning behind these coins that make them so awesome.

See below for an in-depth guide of how to improve your current collection and start to get your hands on rare challenge coins.

Browse Online Often

There’s never been a better time to be a custom challenge coins collector. These days, the internet has made it even easier for you to get your hands on some impressive and ultra-rare challenge coins.

Typically, challenge coins only get handed out to high ranking officers, so online is really the only place you can expect to purchase them.

However, even though the online marketplace gives you access to more challenge coins, you might still find it increasingly difficult to find rare coins. Many avid collectors are surfing the web at all hours of the day, ready to purchase a rare coin at the drop of a hat.

Be sure to find go-to websites that you can search for air force challenge coins, firefighter challenge coins, army challenge coins, and so on.

Budget and Be Ready to Strike

If you have the collector’s passion in you, then you want to make sure you have some accountability for your purchases. Often times, people can get carried away spending too much of their money on their challenge coin collection at any one time.

Doing so can put you in a financial bind. Remember, collecting challenge coins is a marathon, not a sprint. Therefore, give yourself a budget that you can add up funds into until you come across the ideal challenge coin to purchase. Like a bankroll, of sorts.

As previously mentioned, there are thousands of avid challenge coin collectors out there browsing the same websites as you are.

If you come across a challenge coin that you desperately want, you have to be willing to purchase it right then and there. It may not be there if you wait a few hours (or even a few minutes) to do so.

Understand the Story Behind the Coins

As was mentioned in the intro of this article, the aesthetic of the challenge coin isn’t what makes them special. If that’s the only thing you care about, then you’re collecting challenge coins for the wrong reason.

These coins are meant to show off a sense of brotherhood among those that fight, protect, and serve our great country. Everyone from the Air Force to the President of the United States receives a challenge coin for their dedication to this great country.

Because of that, you owe it to them to understand the meaning of the coins that you add to your collection.

Many people believe that challenge coins go all the way back to World War I. The story goes that an American fighter pilot was captured in a German detention facility.

Then, when that same pilot came across French soldiers after his escape, he used the challenge coin that his Lieutenant had given him to prove his rank and allegiance.

It stories and legends like that which make challenge coins so meaningful. Next time you look at your challenge coin collection, think about all the brave men and women that stand behind that insignia. Learn all you can about its history and meaning. You owe it to them.

Make Your Own Challenge Coin

So… you want to begin a challenge coin collection. You could start one by purchasing all of the challenge coins from an online website, but that wouldn’t make it quite as fun.

Instead, you should aim to do do a bit of purchasing online, as well as trading coins with those that you meet.

However, in order to trade challenge coins, you have to possess a few that you’re willing to trade. That’s when it’s a good idea to create your own custom challenge coins.

You can make them for a plethora of reasons such as a group that you are in or for a memento for a big event such as the birth of a child, fundraising for veterans, and so on.

Now you’ll have coins that you can trade with other people. This will help you diversify your collection and make memorable moments all the while.

Attend Conventions

If you’re as passionate about supporting your local enforcements as you are about collecting challenge coins, then attending conventions is a no-brainer.

Often times, these conventions create customized challenge coins to commemorate the year of the event, making it irreplaceable. Not to mention that most people in attendance will have challenge coins that they can trade with you.

Be sure to keep a sharp eye out for any conventions that you’re interested in. It never hurts to reach out to the event coordinator and ask if they’re planning to create challenge coins to celebrate the event.

Build a Rare and Meaningful Challenge Coin Collection

Now that you’ve seen several amazing ways to build a rare and diversified challenge coin collection, it’s time to start!

Take it slow to start out. Do as much research as you can about the stories behind the coins and think of the ones you’re most interested in collecting. For example, if you served in the Air Force, you might want to collect only Air Force challenge coins.

Be sure to browse our website for more articles on coin collecting, as well as many other helpful topics.

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