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Challenge Coins

During World War I, volunteers from many nations streamed into Europe to join newly formed flying squadrons. In one squadron, a well-to-do Lieutenant commissioned the striking of small bronze medallions carrying the squadron crest for each member of his squadron.

One squadron member was then shot down over enemy lines and was captured by a German patrol. His captors confiscated all his identification except for his bronze coin. He subsequently escaped enemy captivity and crossed over into French controlled territory where he was then recaptured by the French.

With no confirmation of his identity, he was assumed to be a spy. As the French were preparing to execute him, he remembered his bronze medallion and showed it to the French Outpost's Commander who recognized the insignia and delayed the execution long enough to confirm his identity. Instead of shooting him, they gave him a bottle of wine and safe transport back to his squadron.

It soon became a standard for all squadrons to carry a bronze medallion or coin with their unit crest at all times, and the tradition of the "challenge coin" was begun. A challenge was accomplished by the challenger producing his coin. If the challenged could not produce his coin, he was required to buy a drink for the challenger. If the challenged member could indeed produce his coin, the challenger then was required to pay for the drink.

The challenge coin tradition continues at CREATIVE with both traditional and contemporary styles. Traditional style challenge coins are struck in solid bronze with deep modeled relief. Contemporary styles can include a wide range of alloys and plated finishes, as well as a full palette of colors in cloisonné or soft enamels. NEW! Keyring Coin bezels for all sizes of challenge coins!

(Program pricing information is available by special quotation only)

Coins and Medallions
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