The Value of a Challenge Coin

October 16, 2023

Challenge coins have a low objective worth, but high sentimental value makes this a perfect gift for hardworking employees or professional colleagues.

Are challenge coins worth anything? The value comes from them being given as a way of acknowledging excellence in workmanship. They are made to commemorate something significant done by a group or individual, making them treasured by the person receiving them. The coins are made of inexpensive materials and usually valued at $5 or less.

Whether you are looking to create a customized coin for an exemplary group of employees or if you are curious to find out more about what they mean and where they come from, this article is going to go over everything you need to know. If you want to make a gorgeous coin to give to your subordinates to show off a rich history of work ethics and company pride, the following resources will show you how. The following article sections will go over when and how to present challenge coins and the best ways to create custom ones for special events.

Table of Contents

What You Need to Know About Challenge Coins

There are some things to know about these coins before you get started. Some of the most frequently asked questions about them are answered below. We will also list a variety of resources so that you can gain a deeper understanding of this time-honored practice.

What Are Challenge Coins?

Challenge coins are colorful, unique coins bestowed upon service members by a superior officer or supervisor and are meant to acknowledge a job well done. There are various traditions, and no one is certain exactly when or how they began being used, but the general consensus is that the practice started in the Navy where it is still going strong. The idea of challenge coins has spread to all branches of the military and similar civilian positions (e.g., law enforcement) and even corporate offices where ever more elaborate coins are presented to show appreciation.

They are usually large coins or medallions around the size of a silver dollar though they can be larger and made into any design, color, or geometric shape. Most of the coins have their own personalized addition to make it unique while still including the organization’s logo or motto. It is meant to commemorate a particular goal or achievement while simultaneously improving morale and showing respect for the person being given the coin.

Where Can You Make Them?

There are many online sites dedicated to the creation of custom challenge coins. PinProsPlus is one of the places online where you can quickly order a bulk amount of challenge pins for a graduating class or presentation event at an affordable cost. These online manufacturers can bring your vision to life so that your gift of a challenge coin is perfect. They can even help design the coin imagery if you are uncertain about how to make the artwork.

How Much Are They Worth?

If you were to sell a challenge coin to someone with no knowledge or interest in them, it would be worth less than a few dollars. The value of these coins is in their meaning and history rather than raw materials.

Every time someone looks at their challenge coin, they remember the success that made it possible for them to get it. The gratification that comes from knowing you did a good job and that others acknowledged is not something that you can replace.

Should You Order Bulk Coins for Events?

If your department or company has a large upcoming event that will be used to present awards and congratulate select individuals for meeting some goal, then challenge coins might be the perfect way to make the day truly special. You can create a customized coin for the event or several different coins for various areas of the company and then order them in bulk to save money and make sure everyone who deserves it gets the recognition.

Common Professions That Give Out Challenge Coins

While they are conventionally military coins, the practice has bled over into other mainstream organizations, and are they are now commonly found in law enforcement, school clubs, and corporate America. These coins are milestones in the story of someone’s life, and they represent meaningful gains and successes.


Many areas of the military have been giving out these decorative coins for decades, and they hold special meanings for various veterans and individual branches.

Law Enforcement

These coins show the dedication and strength that officers put into protecting the people around them.


Firefighters risk life and limb daily as they protect their local communities against dangerous human-made and natural disasters. Challenge coins are a way for their departments to show each unit how much they are appreciated.

Other Professional Organizations

There are plenty of other organizations, professional companies, and clubs that offer challenge coins for completing specific tasks or to recognize outstanding members.

When to Present a Challenge Coin

Most challenge coins are made to mark a particular event or victory in someone’s career. The person presenting them is usually supervisors or superior officers, and they are given out either during an award ceremony or in a private meeting. When and how to present the coin will depend on what it is for and who is giving it.

Coins delivered during events are usually given for large company or department achievements while those presented during private meetings may be for smaller, though no less meaningful, things such as being an exceptionally hard worker or going above and beyond in a certain situation.

How to Customize a Challenge Coin

Because they are all individualized, challenge coins can take a lot of different forms. If you want to design and gift, you’re a coin, but are new to the process, you will want to start sketching out an idea. Most manufacturers like PinProsPlus have designers on staff who can help you turn your outline into a fleshed-out concept that you can then have stamped onto a coin.

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