Custom challenge coins: All you need to know about them.

Custom challenge coins are becoming more and more popular among different groups. If once the military exclusively used them, nowadays, we can see them being used by teammates, classes of graduates, business partners, and even as marketing tools.

Are you curious about their origin, uses, and how this tradition came about? Then, keep reading this article and learn the ins and outs of challenge coins!

Challenge coins: what are they?

There are several versions of how challenge coins were created and became widely used objects. However, what is known is that it all began with the military.

Custom challenge coins serve to celebrate the success of these individuals and can represent a bond and friendship between a group.

Nowadays, their use has expanded, and we can find sports, academic teams, schools, university groups, and business partners that use challenge coins to represent them.

The navy, the army, and other military forces still use them. However, given their high degree of customization, they also have great potential as a marketing tool.

Therefore, the use of custom coins is broad and can vary.

How can custom challenge coins be used?

As mentioned, challenge coins are generally created to represent organizations, teams, and units. However, they are also used to celebrate an achievement or mark important dates or special events.

It's a creative, original, and unique way to depict the bonds between those who share them.

Over time, the customization of these coins has become increasingly common among civilian groups, and new ways to tailor-made these coins have been created.

Now, it's possible to make challenge coins in several different shapes and sizes to achieve the group's goals.

For example, the business world may use them to boost team morale and mark significant milestones. In addition, companies can use them to promote brand awareness, given their customization nature.

Moreover, they can serve as a way to link people who share the same interests.

The customization process of challenge coins

The customization process is very flexible. For example, you can customize the coins to be the shape and size you want.

First, to decide the right design for the coin, consider why it is being made. From this, it is easier to understand the complexity of the project.

The next step is to focus on who will use the coins. Different groups have traditions about what size and even plating are used in making them.

Custom challenge coins' most common uses

Check out the most common examples of challenge coins!

Military challenge coins

It’s common to find among service members extensive collections of challenge coins collected during their time in the military.

They can represent many things, from military branches to specific missions. There are even unique coins for military leaders.

The coins are used to show the group's brotherhood in addition to celebrating their accomplishments.

First responders challenge coins

Like the military, challenge coins used by first responders are most often a way of honoring their service.

We can say the same about law enforcement agencies as well as firefighters. They can also be a way for politicians and government agencies to honor the work of first responders in their community.


Challenge coins were used early in military history to prove loyalty and service to a specific unit or mission. Today they continue to be used to demonstrate that someone is part of one particular group.

They can be the symbol representing a graduating class, or a team, for example.

Awards and recognition

Custom challenge coins are often used to celebrate achievements. In addition, they can boost group morale by representing their excellent performance in specific tasks and services.

Branding tool

One of the most recent uses of challenge coins is as a tool to identify a corporate brand or logo. This is a way of distinguishing the brand at events such as trade shows and conferences.

The school’s sports teams have even done the same. In this case, the custom challenge coins are distributed at local events in their communities.

How are custom challenge coins made?

Creating challenge coins can be simple and fun, depending on where you choose to make yours.

In specialized places, a team of professional designers usually guides you from your original idea to the final product.

People generally use some logo or image as a source of inspiration. From there, the professionals will make some adjustments, and in some cases, it is still possible to have a close-to-real view of the final product with digital rendering.

Most popular types of challenge coins

Traditional coins

The most common coins are round challenges. However, if you're looking for a unique result, you can experiment with the size, plating options, borders, and artwork.

Cut to shape

Cut to shape is the ideal way to make the design, logo, or insignia on the entire side of the coin. The result is a custom coin that can easily stand out from others.

Bottle openers

This is a way to turn challenge coins into a daily used item. This way, you can display your coin and take it everywhere.

It can also be an excellent marketing strategy if the custom challenge coin is a brand item.

Dog tags

Dog tags were originally worn by soldiers and held unique information about them.

Nowadays, they are used by civilians and soldiers alike as novelty items. These usually have holes so that they can be worn regularly or used as a key chain.

Where to get a custom challenge coin?

There are places specialized in custom challenge coins where you can get yours made.

Here at Elite Custom Coins, you will receive a custom design and quote within 48 hours by filling out the free quote form.

Still don't have a specific artwork in mind? Not a problem! With a brief description of what you expect to see on each side of the coin, a designer will work it all out for you.

Do you still have questions about the process? Then, contact us to clear all your doubts and get a free quote on your next custom challenge coins!