Last December the military and veteran-focused digital media company Task & Purpose published an amusing rant complaining about the number of challenge coins issued
today. I just came across it this week - here's an excerpt. -Editor
The origins of the challenge coin have been lost to antiquity. It's really anyone's guess as to how these trinkets came about.
But what isn't a guess is that the number of coins being presented today IS TOO DAMN HIGH. Just like with real money, if you make too much of it, the value goes way down. The
inflation rate for challenge coins is worse than Reichsmark in Weimar Germany, and we all know how great that worked out.
Some time ago, if you got a challenge coin from a commanding officer, people thought of it as something of a score. That was before coins became like Beanie Baby collectibles
for the moto set. Grown men put them in display cases, apparently under the delusion that someone, anyone, gives a shit about their hobby. Just like Beanie Babies, no one cares
which ones you have or how you got them.
That's especially true now that everyone from cops to cabinet secretaries has coins. There are few things less cherished than coins from a civilian agency. Civilian coins are a
tradition with about as much history and intellectual integrity as Milli Vanilli. "Oh, tell me about the fabled battle history of the Environmental Protection Agency, Mr.
A standard coin is now less valuable than a POG from an overseas PX. That's why so many of them have started to incorporate customized shapes and functions, usually a bottle
opener. You know what also works really well as a bottle opener? A bottle opener.
The other track is to make the coin exceptionally weighty and huge. Making an otherwise perfectly ordinary item ludicrously huge is, as in most things, compensating for other
shortcomings. Witness the cavalcade of faux-gold monstrosities that are the challenge coins of the Trump administration.
It's time to get a damn handle on the coin situation. There is no Federal Reserve to control the supply, so grassroots action needs to happen.
First, senior leaders need to get the hell over themselves. Unless you're a general or an admiral, you don't need a personal coin, and even then, think really hard about it. If
you're a civilian and your title doesn't start with "Secretary of" and end with "Defense" or the name of a military branch, then just sit your ass down.
Somewhere between apathy and obsession is the right attitude in any endeavor. Coins are no different. Save them for when they're actually worth it, and everyone will be better
To read the complete article, see:
The Number Of Challenge Coins That Are Passed Out Is Too Damn High
Wayne Homren, Editor
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