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How to Give a Challenge Coin: The Complete Guide

Are you planning on presenting someone with a challenge coin? A challenge coin is a key to membership in an exclusive club. These clubs can help members find support in their endeavors, comfort them during difficult times, and give them lifelong friendships.

It’s especially used for members of the military, whether they are veterans or on active duty.

If you’ve thought about granting a challenge coin to someone, you might wonder how to give a challenge coin.

You want to first figure out how to design and create the ideal challenge coin. 

You also want to look into finding a great case for your challenge coin. When you present it, you want to make sure you give the receiver a place where they can always store it.

Here’s what else to know, as we’ve prepared this guide to help you out.

The Handshake

The proper etiquette and tradition of giving a challenge coin are through a handshake. The challenge coins should be concealed in the palm of your hand.

This way, the recipient will feel it and receive it when they shake your hand. The “ceremony” of receiving the coin should be discreet. It should not be easy for others to see the challenge coin being given to the recipient.

You should read more on the protocol of military challenge coins to understand this ritual.

The Rules

You have to let the recipient know the rules of using the challenge coin. For example, if they need it as a “password” for entering a meeting, you must educate them on the protocol.

For instance, are they supposed to hold the coin and perform a particular handshake? Or do they wear the coin on their jacket as a lapel?

Challenge coins are also used in bar games. If you require players to bring their challenge coins with you, make sure to let them know and let them know the protocol during the bar game.

What to Avoid

You want to let your recipient know what to avoid when it comes to a challenge coin. For example, you should never wear your challenge coin as jewelry, with the exception of a lapel at a specific member-only event.

You want to make sure the recipient knows that they cannot duplicate the challenge coin. They should know that they shouldn’t share the design with others. This means that they shouldn’t share photos of the challenge coin on social media, etc.

Coin Check

A coin check is when the challenge coin must be displayed for a specific purpose. For example, when it comes to drinking at a pub, the host usually requests everyone to show their coins at once. Those who don’t have a coin have to buy the first round of drinks.

You want to also teach each recipient the proper manner to use the coin when interacting with others. Show them how to keep the challenge coin in their palm and how to slide it in someone else’s palm when shaking hands.

You want to let recipients know what the purpose of the challenge coin is. You want to let them know when they can and should use the challenge coin.

What’s the Etiquette?

You also need to inform anyone whom you are giving a challenge coin about the proper etiquette and rules of owning the challenge coin. For example, if a challenge coin is intended for a fraternal organization, the owner should only bring it along for a meeting or event held by the fraternal organization.

There are also challenge coins that are required to be carried at any time. These are when challenge coins are used for regular events, such as bar games.

If a challenge coin is a requirement for a bar game, you want a participant to have the challenge coin easily accessible or on their person at any time.

You also want to know the rules of not having the challenge coin. For example, as we mentioned, if you forget to bring your challenge coin to the pub, you might be required to buy the first round of drinks for everyone. 

Many secret organizations grant challenge coins to their members. However, they require their members to have challenge coins on them to interact with other members.

If you see another member and wish to interact with them, you must have your challenge coin with you. Otherwise, you will have to avoid the interaction.

How to Maintain Your Challenge Coin

You want to educate recipients on the best ways to maintain their challenge coins. You need to let them know the material that makes the challenge coin. This way, they can research the correct material to polish the challenge coin.

For example, if the challenge coin’s makeup consists of a precious metal (gold, silver, platinum, copper, etc.), you can recommend a particular cleaner for the coin. 

You should also let the recipient know that they should never let anyone else “borrow” their challenge coin, even if this is another member. You can recommend a case for the recipients to keep their challenge coin is.

If the challenge coin is valuable as metal and has a purpose for secret/fraternal organizations, you want to consider recommending a safe for them to keep the coin in.

You also want to let the recipient know the protocol of what to do if they lose their challenge coin or if it gets stolen. They should inform you immediately.

When Do I Give One?

For a fraternal organization, you want to give one upon initiation of a new member. If there is a ranking system, give it when the member reaches a particular rank or becomes a senior member.

In the military, challenge coins are given when a soldier becomes a veteran. A challenge coin is for senior military members.

Now You Know How to Give A Challenge Coin

Now that you know how to give a challenge coin, you are ready to design and grant a challenge coin. Share this guide with any organization that wants to grant challenge coins to its members.

Read more on challenge coins, marketing, and other hobbies on our website.

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