People naturally like to receive rewards or prizes when they have done something that they would consider an accomplishment. After all, it is human nature to expect at least a little something in return when they really worked hard to finish a task they are assigned to do.
Because of this fact, aside from verbal positive reinforcements, team leaders or heads of organizations usually also give material things to recognize exemplary individuals or groups.
And among the vast choices of rewards to give, the challenge coins are perhaps one of the most popular and most substantial of all.
What are these coins?
The first usage of challenge coins as recognition material dates back in Ancient Rome where it is traditional for military members, or legionnaires as they are used to be called, to receive a special coin when they have shown exceptional service to the country. Aside from receiving their usual monetary payment, recognized legionnaires would also receive a special separate coin as a reward.
These special coins are said to be specially minted and marked with the emblem of the legion where they came from. Like ordinary currency, these distinct coins can be spent on goods and services in the area. But due its rarity and significance, most military men would keep them as memento rather than spend them.
Traditionally, challenge coins are circular in shape, with a diameter of 1.5 to 2 inches, and around 1/10 of an inch thick. In the old days, these coins are typically made of copper and are always circular in shape. However, nowadays, coins of unusual shapes are getting popular.
Some hand out pentagon coins, dog tag coins, and irregularly shaped coins like those resembling arrows and shield. And aside from the regular material used to make these coins, manufacturers are also now using different materials like pewter and nickel to suit the demands of the client who ordered the custom coins.
The most common design for these coins is the engraving of the company or organization’s emblem but variations are now common for a more personalized touch. Ranks, name of the recipient, or motto with multi dimensional design are now popular as decoration for the coin.
What is the purpose and significance of giving these coins?
As a tradition, military leaders hand out challenge coins to prove membership of a new member. This can also be given to noted individuals or teams which displayed great enthusiasm in their service when challenged.
Today, not only the military give coins as reward items. In fact, most companies or groups nowadays give coins to deserving individuals as substitute to trophies, plaques, or certificates.
The most popular use of these coins today is to give appreciation to members which are considered role members to the organization. They are usually handed to the recipient by the leader via a handshake. But for a more formal and sophisticated approach, many companies give out these coins enclosed in an elegant container like a velvet or glass box.
Another common purpose of these coins is to prove association of an individual to a team. When an applicant gained satisfactory remarks and has passed all the tests for membership, coins may be given as a proof of attachment to the group.
There are many more purposes for giving challenge coins but all carry the same significance – that is to boost the morale of the recipient, and to subsequently give a concrete symbol of gratitude, indebtedness, and appreciation for a job well done. Aside from that, having these coins as rewards will give a person something that they can be proud of and show and share to other people.
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