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Variations in armed forces or US military challenge coin history
With a number of variations US military challenge coin history is deeply rooted in the armed forces mind set. During world war one American soldiers, sailors, and airmen stationed overseas often carried a Pfennig coin which was the smallest denomination of German currency.
The pfennig check evolved into the present day challenge coin tradition. Challenge coins are sometimes said to have originated in the Roman Army. He was later forced to land behind enemy lines in France he was captured and stripped of all his personal belonging except for a small leather pouch around his neck which had his coin in it.
He found himself trying to look like a local so he donned farmers clothes he found in a barn. He worked his way up to the frontline's. He was soon recaptured by French resistance forces who thought he was a German spy. He had no means of convincing his captures that he was really an America airman who had been shot down.
As he was about to be executed when he remembered he still had his unit challenge coin in the leather pouch around his neck. Once he showed that military coin he was accepted by the locals and given food and wine. So as you can imagine challenge coins were very popular with aircrews after that.
US military history shows us that they are collectable even now. Commanders' coins are often given for achievement by individuals or units. These awards are cherished by all who receive them. Memorabilia like challenge coins are even collected by civilians who have never served, these collectable coins are now used by police and fire departments just to mention a few of the organizations to adopt this US military tradition.
In fact if you trace back to roman time coins were issued to individual units for recognition and identification purposes. And since that time challenge coins have been sought out by military units and the men that serve in them. So the varied stories on the history of challenge coins has a number of versions but the one thing they all have in common is that challenge coin history is deeply rooted in the men and women who serve mind set.
To create a collectable coin the first thing is to create the design itself from this artwork a master die is cut and then hardened. This die is then place into a press, and coin blanks are place one at a time into the press and the coins are struck with the die imprinting the design into the metal usually bronze or brass. Then polished and if coloring is called for colors applied to the newly die struck coin. After coloring final polishing and gold plating or other finishes are applied. The finished product is a highly detailed highly collectable challenge coin in the tradition of the history of challenge coins.