Inaugural Challenge Coin Collectibles: Barack Obama
If you are looking for some special memento of the Presidential inauguration you may find that an
inaugural challenge coin may be the right collectible to help you celebrate and remember the
inauguration of our first black President, Barack Obama, on January 20, 2009.
Members of the armed forces will be familiar with challenge coins, but if you haven't been in the
military you may not be familiar with challenge coins. They originated as coins or small medallions
which carried the logo or emblem of a military unit. If challenged the military member could
produce the coin to prove his identity or membership in the organization.
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Traditions have emerged that encouraged the members of the military and other organizations to
keep their challenge coins with them at all times. In one tradition, if a member challenges another
member to produce their coin and they cannot, they must buy the challenger a drink of his choice. If
the member does produce the coin the challenger is obliged to buy the member a drink.
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It is believed that the challenge coin was originally used as a form of camaraderie and to build unit
morale. Since the 1990's the challenge coin has become more popular and is often given to
recognize conduct in the military that, though worthy, does not qualify for the awarding of a medal.
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The challenge coin has become popularized and stretches beyond its military origins but still
signifies the ties between members of a particular group. Other groups beyond the military include
police and fire departments, rescue units, clubs, scout troops, colleges, weddings and more. Anyone
wishing to commemorate a special occasion or event can have challenge coins custom made for that
The inauguration of Barack Obama is one of those special occasions. Various inaugural challenge
coins have been custom made by private companies and are being offered to the general public. In
this case the challenge coin not only serves to commemorate the inauguration of Barack Obama as
the first black President of the United States, but as such he will also be the Commander-In-Chief of
the Armed Forces. Thus the challenge coin reflects military heritage as well as commemorating the
inauguration. As a memento of a very special occasion to many people in the United States and
even around the world, the inauguration challenge coin can help create a lasting memory of a very