One of the most bearings in history is the challenge or custom coins. This type of coin is used as a bearing for any emblem or insignia of respective groups, such as in the military. Basically, they are given to those members who have proven their courage to pass a certain challenge or level of morale. They are often seen in Generals or those who have high service status. During an award, we often see those members who are recognized with a special achievement. They are presented with a custom made coin with an insignia of honor along with a certificate or award coming from the group.
The history of challenger and custom coins can be dated back from World War 1. According to historians, American volunteers who have fought for their country were awarded with a special type of coin provided by the government. Some of those volunteers were peasants while others were college students coming from prestigious schools. According to a veteran, a small bronze coin medallion was created for a lieutenant who had made a large contribution during the war. The coin was placed in a leather pouch and it was worn around his neck. The lieutenant then went in to war and was then brought down during flight. He was then forced to land in enemy lines and he was captured by the enemies. The enemy soldiers took everything from him but not the coin. He then escaped with the coin and he was able to reach a French Base.
However, things became bad when they thought that the lieutenant was one of the spies from the enemy. He was then brought into court and was about to be exiled. Yet, they found that he was wearing a leather bag with a coin and the coin had an insignia on it. Knowing that the insignia was from the allies, they let go of the lieutenant and he was able to go back to his family. This is actually the start of using custom coins in the military.
It then became a tradition for military personnel to carry a coin. During the war, the coin was also used as a form of a challenge. Two soldiers will often meet up during war time. They will challenge themselves in order to see if the other person is carrying his coin. If he will not be able to show the coin, then he will be required to buy a drink to the challenger. This tradition was practiced during the war and it is still alive today. Yet, nowadays the custom coins that are produced for the military have a certain insignia or troop number depending on the rules of the camp.
During Nazi times, the coins are also used for verification purposes. Soldiers were asked to present their coins as a sign of their identity. Those who do not have the coins are considered as saboteurs or spies from the enemy. There was another story regarding this item wherein American soldiers presented their custom made coins in order to show that they are the valid contact during stealth missions. As the years went by, several other non-military groups have also practiced the use of the coins. Even the United States Congress used coins in order to show their membership to the government.
Most of the coins today are provided by the Air Force as a form of award. Other organizations utilize the coins as a sign of tradition or service. There are also some companies that utilize custom made coins in order to collect funds, even in various competitions wherein competitors will be under a certain challenge, such as with a sports game. Due to the number of coin for awards and for various purposes we now have over a million variants or designs around the globe. Some of them are made of silver while others are for gold. Most of the coins that are produced today also come in various shapes and sizes.