A category of collectibles that is rapidly gaining in popularity is challenge coins. Traditionally, a challenge coin is a small token, coin or medallion that denotes an organization and identifies the carrier as an honored member or affiliate of that organization. The coin is traditionally embossed with the insignia or emblem of said organization. Inexpensive to design and manufacture, the coins are available in a wide variety of patinas, from pewter to an elegant 24K gold finish. Challenge coins are often presented and exchanged between members of organizations to commemorate special events, acts of courage and as gestures of respect. The stories revealing the origin of the coins date as far back as the Roman Empire when soldiers were rewarded with coins to celebrate their achievements. A version of challenge coins, called Portrait Medals during the Renaissance, was issued to commemorate events involving nobility and royalty. Another scenario traces the origin of the coins to World War ll. Challenge coins are so named because of the practice of one organization’s member producing his coin and 'challenging' another to do the same to prove he is carrying his own coin. In modern times, challenge coins often bear the insignias of a wide variety of groups including military as well as non-military organizations. President Trump even produced his own version with his “MAGA” slogan appearing on both sides of the coin. FYI: During a presentation, coins are often cleverly transferred during a handshake - the coin passing from the right hand of the giver to the right hand of the receiver!
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