Jon Favreau, the director of the Iron Man movies, had special Iron Man challenge coins minted and presented to the Air Force members at Edwards Air Force Base to thank them for their cooperation while his crew filmed on location. The crew of Breaking Bad received challenge coins from the show’s creator, Vince Gilligan, at the start of each new season. Clearly, the modern challenge coin tradition has spread beyond its military beginning to be used to commemorate a variety of special occasions and achievements.
Challenge coins and their designs are steeped in tradition and history. Some coins travel all over the world and can pass through the hands of the most elite members of our Armed Forces, all the way to average civilians. Coins are typically given to reward achievements, celebrate special occasions, recognize anniversaries or visits, or boost morale. The tradition of presenting and receiving challenge coins is very significant for many people, including Atec’s own Senior Development Engineer, Bart White.
Over the years, Bart has amassed a noteworthy collection of challenge coins from all over the U.S., and even the world. Bart shared a few of his favorite coins because he couldn’t pick just one. His coin from Baltimore, seen below, was the largest in size out of his entire collection. It bore the image of a ferocious raven inside the Warfield Air National Guard base shield. Another of his favorites, a coin from Okinawa, Japan, featured a Scarface theme and enthusiastic motto.
Rounding out his favorites were two coins that he received in New Orleans, LA. One of the New Orleans coins, given by the Louisiana Air National Guard, has a beautiful fleur de lis on the back with the unofficial state slogan of Louisiana “Laissez les bon temps rouler” (Let the good times roll), while the other was minted in the shape of the state itself. With coins that cool, it’s easy to see why Bart couldn’t pick just one favorite.
Do you have a favorite coin in your collection or someone else’s? Share it with us!