I know it has been a while since I wrote a substantive post. But as the holiday season is upon us, business has picked up and I am doing a lot of buying and selling. While good for business, it has not provided me time to write. I have a backlog that I will get to, so please be patient.

Of the items I am buying and selling are Challenge Coins. While not coins in the strictest sense of the term challenge coins are the size of large dollar coins or crowns issued, usually issued by a military organization and given to someone as a sign of appreciation. Back in 2009, I wrote about NBC news anchor Brian Williams admitting that he collected challenge coins.

Although given in appreciation, not everyone appreciates their significance and, in some cases, their beauty. Aside from finding them in estate sales, they are included in large lots of items I purchase while looking for other items. For some reason, the sellers throw them into the lot thinking that they are not worth much.

For the most part, challenge coins do not have value the way coins have value. Most challenge coins are enameled bronze disks. What makes them interesting is the topic, the location depicted, or who issued the coin. Some challenge coins are very basic while others have artistic value that rivals anything issued by government mints.

Although I have handled hundreds of challenge coins in the last year, two stand out as exception. Unfortunately, I was so excited to have found them that I sold them to new owners before taking pictures. One was a coin that was overlaid on a large “V” which was to be the Roman numeral for five. It was very striking. The other was a coin that was three-inches wide by one-inch tall in the shape of a dog bone. This very unique challenge coin was issued for an anniversary of the police canine unit of Amtrak in Chicago. Aside from various insignias and images of the five types of dogs that Amtrak Police Canine Unit trains, the coin included representative flags including one for the City of Chicago.

Here are some challenge coins that I have recently sold:

US Army Garrison Natick-obv
US Army Garrison Natick-rev
U.S. Army Garrison Natick Challenge Coin
Presented for Excellence by the Garrison Command Team in Natick, Mass.
U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) HQ-obv
U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) HQ-rev
U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) Headquarters Challenge Coin
Presented by the Deputy Command in Chief C.S. Abbot, Admiral, U.S. Navy
Rear Admiral Charles S. Abbot (ret.) was Deputy Commander in Chief of USEUCOM from 1998 to 2000.
78th Troop Command-obv
78th Troop Command-rev
78th Troop Command Challenge Coin
“Georgia’s 911 Force”
The 78th Troop Command is the Georgia National Guard. Coins was presented by the Sargent Major (see the insignia on the reverse).
US Forces Korea 50th Anniversary-obv
US Forces Korea 50th Anniversary-rev
United States Forces Korea Challenge Coin
50th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration
FBI 100th Anniversary-obv
FBI 100th Anniversary-rev
Federal Bureau of Investigation Challenge Coin
100th Anniversary of the FBI

Finally, if you want to start your own challenge coins collection, here are a few I have for sale for you to start:

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