Collecting items is one hobby which has become popular for most people, depending on their passion and their lifestyle. Some people collect comic books, stamps, antiques, action figures, pocket knives, baseball cards, key chains, cars, and bottle caps, to name a few. But the most popular of them all is collecting coins.
Coin-collecting can be fun for the collector simply because it showcases differences in cultures, in the case of coin collection from different countries. But there are different types of collections for every enthusiast. One may collect according to the year the coins were released, according to countries of origin, according to the coin composition, and whatever can come to mind.
But there is one form of coin-collecting that is becoming popular these days, even among numismatics, which collect currency coins. This is the collection of custom military coins, or more popularly known as challenge coins. Originally and traditionally owned by military personnel to identify membership in a service, or a personal achievement by a certain military unit, these coins have also reached organizations outside the military service. Even former US President Bill Clinton has a collection of these coins. One of his official portraits was taken with his five-tiered wooden display rack of custom military coins in the background.
These days, it is easy to start your own collection of custom military coins, with a budget and an internet connection. An organization called Medals of America takes pride in its extensive collection of challenge coins. They have in their possession over 200 coins that represent the various branches of the US Military. Among the most notable of these coins are Military Medallions, Religious Challenge Coins, and Vietnam Challenge Coins.
But if one should start his own collection, one should start now because even if hundreds of new coins are released in the market every day, these are instantly monitored by hundreds of other collections. And being a collector, one must always get hold of the best coins, the beautiful and the rare pieces.
In collecting custom military coins, one must know what he or she is looking for. The most wanted are coins for commemoration like the Operation Iraqi Freedom War military challenge coin. One can only find the value of a specific coin by doing a little research, learning from the experts on these coins. The challenge is actually finding a coin that is worth displaying. Though there is a rich online resource, numismatic experts and long-time collectors may have plenty of additional information, which they have gathered through experience.
Before buying the first coin, experience going to an auction of these coins. It is a great place to learn more about the coins, and it will sharpen the senses to note which particular pieces have actual value. Being in the know of the weight, dimension and other specifications gives one the practice he or she needs for collection.
Coins are also produced for fraternities, colleges and sports organizations like the National Football League (NFL), National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and the World Series of Poker, and these are worth collecting as well, along with custom military coins.
Joining online forums is a way to learn more about these coins. Enthusiasts converge in these forums to discuss the value of coins, and to discover places where one can find pieces for a collection. With the popularity of this form of collection, several sites online have mushroomed, offering advice, and even selling pieces from their own collections.
Though is can be an expensive hobby since most of these coins are collectors’ items, it is really important to make a little research and educate oneself on challenge coins collecting.
And what’s most important in this kind of hobby is the fact that collecting these coins or military medallions or challenge coins brings back memories for those who have served in the military, police or even in private and government agencies. The coins always represent something – a special place, a memorable operation or mission, or an exceptional unit.