Police Agencies Adopt Military Challenge Coin Tradition

What is a Challenge Coin?

A challenge coin is a small medallion or coin that usually bears an organization’s emblem or insignia. Members of certain groups, like police officers, also carry them. Traditionally, they are handed out to prove membership of a particular group or organization. They also help to enhance morale. Additionally, military service members, law enforcement officers, and others collect them. Unit leaders often give out such coins to recognize an individual’s special achievements.

Types of Challenge Coins

There are two types of challenge coins that are created today. The first is commonly known as soft enamel and leaves every coin with a highly textured surface. The coin’s raised metal areas are created by putting the design onto the metal at an elevated level above the color fill. The second type of challenge coins is called hard enamel. This coin is adopted from traditional Chinese lapel pins. They use hard baked enamel to provide every coin with a very smooth finish. The main difference between these two finishes is the use of a polishing process that helps smooth out the elevated metallic areas to a degree that is even with the color fill. Soft enamel challenge coins are left unfinished while hard enamel coins are polished to produce a very smooth finish.


· A Very Useful Fundraiser

Many law enforcement agencies utilize challenge coins as one way of raising funds for various needs. These coins are specially designed with the agency’s symbol. At the same time, buying these coins helps the public understand the real concept behind them. They are very popular, as they are a good way to show support and appreciation for law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day in the line of duty. Owning one also gives a sense of belonging and pride. Law enforcement agencies also sell challenge coins to coin collectors due to their numismatic value.

· Helps Promote Common Goals Within a Task Force

A task force consists of a number of military, government or law enforcement agencies that work together to meet a common goal. These highly trained individuals fight illegal drugs, organized crime and gang violence. A great way to commemorate their struggles is through customized coins.

Challenge coins are highly suitable for task forces. This is because they create a way to support and honor law enforcement agents. Aside from being memorable and attractive, these coins are also very personal. A lot of recipients of challenge coins know that they are being honored and recognized for the type of job that they do. These special keepsakes are also not the type of object that people see every day. These mementos are very special.

· Symbolizes the Value of Their Organization

Law enforcement agencies also use challenge coins to represent the values that they stand for. The emblem that is imprinted on the coin frequently displays an idea that best represents the honor and labor that their organization is known for. Some police departments also include mascots and mottoes as symbols to represent the individuality and attitude of their organization. At the same time, they also promote support and pride among members of an organization.

· A Great Morale Builder

Coins are also used to increase the morale of a particular unit. This is done by acknowledging a significant milestone in law enforcement. It is also a great way to honor the excellent job of team members. At the same time, challenge coins also further cultivate cohesion and unity among the ranks.

Some police officials also use these coins to honor an agent who stands out from the group. They can award a challenge coin that bears his or her name, their badge number and their position within the department. A custom medallion and coin also demonstrates to law enforcement agents that their superiors truly care enough for them to bestow personal and meaningful recognition. Such collectible coins are often more important awards for law enforcement service than certificates. Additionally, they are made from high quality materials and are more resilient. To put it simply, they endure just like their message.