All about Royal Navy Commissioning Coins

Founded in 1546, the Royal Navy is the UK’s naval military force and part of Her Majesty’s Naval Service. The Royal Navy fleet consists of aircraft carriers, submarines, amphibious ships, patrol ships and many more, as well as bases on land in the UK and internationally.

What is a Royal Navy commissioning ceremony?

A commissioning ceremony is the official launch of a new vessel into the Royal Navy fleet. Members of the Royal family, including the Queen and Prince of Wales, sometimes attend to salute and inspect the vessel’s crew. A military band often plays and a religious service can also take place, and the White Ensign, which is used on Royal Navy vessels, will be raised.

A decommissioning ceremony is exactly the opposite – retiring a vessel that’s ending its career and commemorating its service in a formal ceremony. Some Royal Navy vessels can sail for decades so this is a significant occasion.

What are Royal Navy commissioning coins?

Coins are designed and made to hand out to the crew of a commissioned or decommissioned vessel. They are a memento of the ceremony and the vessel, which is often the officers’ home for a long period, as well as a mark of camaraderie between crew members and their shared commitment to the Royal Navy.

Some Royal Navy challenge coins also acknowledge specific shore establishments, such as training academies, barracks, air stations, and depots.

Commissioning and decommissioning coins designed by Challenge Coins UK

HMS Bristol

We designed coins for the decommissioned HMS Bristol, a Type 82 destroyer which was retired in 2020 after 51 years of sailing.

HMS Prince of Wales 

This large aircraft carrier was commissioned in 2019 in a ceremony attended by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. We created this coin featuring the motto of the Prince of Wales – ‘ich dien’ or ‘I serve’.

We have also designed and created challenge coins for the HMS Argyll, HMS Illustrious, HMS Ark Royal, HMS Raleigh, and many more.

Challenge Coins UK is veteran-owned and officially licensed by the Ministry of Defence. We can design and manufacture bespoke commissioning coins and Challenge Coins for any military unit or branch of the armed forces.

To start designing your unit’s challenge coin just tell us what you want your design to include and we’ll provide a quote and timescale.

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