Challenge coins might be common now and they turn out not only from the military but also from other bodies such as business companies, civic organizations, sports leagues and even schools.
These challenge coins can be found everywhere and they are given out free and sold for minimal fees but there are some custom challenge coins that are considered rare and so important that purchasing one would be costly and possessing one would be a great honor for any US citizen.
Most Common Uses Of Challenge Coins Are:
The challenge coins being referred to here are those that come from the President of the United States. They are the rarest among those that are collected. Engraved with the seal of the President of the United States, these custom challenge coins are passed down to visiting foreign dignitaries, to servicemen and women, and to their loved ones.
Some are also handed out to citizens who had done the nation a great service. These special coins are usually handed out in a quick so-called “secret handshake”. This practice is of course derived straight from the military and as Commander in Chief, the president is simply echoing the practice of higher officers handing out challenge coins to his unit.
Starting from the administration of Bill Clinton in the 1990s, all the succeeding presidents have carried on the tradition of having custom challenge coins made to represent their respective administrations. Clinton himself was seen as an aficionado of challenge coins. In fact, in his official portrait in the White House, he posed with his personal collection of challenge coins in the background.
Bill Clinton’s challenge coin featured the seal of the President of the United States in one side. On the other side is the embossment of the White House with the statement “Presented by the Commander in Chief” at the top and Clinton’s signature at the bottom of the coin along with his whole name, William J. Clinton and his position President, United States of America. The side which had the seal of the President is has a white outer ring while the background of the bald eagle figure is blue. The coin is ringed with gold edging. This custom challenge coin was minted for the president during 1993.
George W. Bush’s challenge coin which first came out in 2001 also featured the presidential seal on one side. The bald eagle figure however, unlike Clinton’s which is purely gold in color, has a colored shield featuring the red, blue and white. The outer white ring is also wider. On the other side of the coin is again the White House although this time it is featured in a more detailed way. On top is the embossed name of George Bush and the term “Commander in Chief” is also embossed at the bottom.
Barack Obama’s coin was different from the previous two in many respects. First, the side that had the presidential seal had a blue outer ring rimmed with gold and the inner ring, a gold background for the bald eagle. As for the other side, the blue outer ring design is repeated bearing the embossment of “Barack Obama” on top and “44th President of the United States” at the bottom. The inner ring is a silver embossment of the White House with the president’s signature.
Since these are the rarest custom coins around, it might be rather tricky to come by one that is authentic—meaning one that has been presented by the President himself. There might be some sellers out there but if you want the real deal, you should do your research and be careful so as to wasting your money.