Challenge Coin Etiquette: The Rules of the Game
Challenge coins have a rich history that some say dates back to an elite flying squadron of World War I. Their use during that time might have been minimal, but the concept took off during the Vietnam War, and challenge coins are still popular today. While they’re often associated with the military, other organizations give out challenge coins too.
To the outsider, a challenge coin might look like nothing more than a fancy collectible. It’s true that these coins are collector’s items, but they’re also shrouded in real tradition. Challenge coins indicate membership in something important, and there are rules that govern them. Playing the game by throwing down a challenge with a coin is something with which every coin owner should be familiar.
Challenge Coin Etiquette Note-by-Note
It’s an honor to be given a challenge coin. That’s why it’s important to know the etiquette surrounding these important mementos. When you use challenge coins the right way, you’re contributing to a time-tested tradition that puts camaraderie and membership on the table. Here are the twelve essential rules you’ve got to follow if you want to play the challenge coin game.
- The rules of the game should be given or explained to everyone given a coin. It’s rude to call out a challenge if you haven’t broken down the way it works ahead of time.
- Coins must be carried at all times, and challenges can be called out anywhere and at any time. You can only take four steps in order to reach your coin.
- The challenger must clearly state whether the challenge is for one drink or a round of drinks.
- If the person challenged fails to produce the coin, the challenge must be honored and drinks must be purchased. Each person can only be challenged once.
- If everyone who is challenged manages to produce a coin, the challenger is on the hook to buy the drinks. Be careful who you challenge.
- Never, ever hand someone else a coin in response to a challenge. Doing so is the same as giving the person the coin. The coin can be placed on the table, and anyone who wants to examine it is honor-bound to return it to its original location.
- If you lose your coin, you’re responsible to replace it as soon as you possibly can. Losing your coin doesn’t absolve you from responsibility to follow the rules of the game. In other words, you’re buying a lot of drinks if you lose it.
- There are zero exceptions to these rules. They apply whether you’re wearing clothes or not, so think ahead. Remember, you’ve got four steps to get within arm’s reach of your coin.
- A challenge coin is a coin. It’s not a belt buckle or bracelet or necklace, so don’t use it like one. The exception is for coins that are carried in a pouch around the neck.
- You must control your coin at all times. It indicates honor, so you shouldn’t give it to just anyone.
- You may not drill holes in your coin.
- These rules apply to anyone worthy to be given a coin, anyone who’s known to own a coin and anyone who buys a coin.
The bottom line is that a challenge coin is a thing of honor, and you should treat it like one. At Cristaux, we’re proud to make only the best challenge coins. That’s why we love celebrating and supporting the traditions surrounding these remarkable coins.