A brief history of Challenge Coins
The coins were reportedly first awarded to British pilots during World War I to acknowledge their service. They had a secondary purpose too – proving the soldiers’ identity and allegiance.
One famous story tells the tale of a British soldier captured in Germany. When he escaped into France, he used his Challenge Coin to prove to the French he was an ally, escaping capture and execution. Pilots reportedly started to carry their Challenge Coins around their necks or in their pockets to prove their national identity if captured during an operation.
What do Challenge Coins represent?
Challenge Coins can mark a specific date or anniversary, an event, a soldier or officer’s position in a particular unit, or a notable achievement.
In the Royal Navy it’s common for Challenge Coins to feature a vessel and coins for the Royal Air Force will often feature aircrafts. Latin mottos and crests are also popular, making coins instantly recognisable and unique to the unit it represents. Coins for the emergency services are also becoming increasingly popular, marking their public service, commitment to the job, and specialist training or skills.
display approximately 30 Challenge Coins, which is ideal for anyone who has a vast collection or has collected many different coins throughout their career.