Challenge coins were once called commander coins as well as unit coins. These coins had differing significance to different group of people. They are generally for showing hard work, friendship and to hold memories. You will notice each unit of law enforcement having their unique challenge coins, which they attached to different things. This practice of having challenge coins began with the United States Air Force personnel. They were made and presented to them as a way of expressing thanks for the kind of job they had to do during the world wars. They would hold on to them as a reminder of what they had to do to keep the fight going.
Bronze plating is the choice for these coins. You will also notice a small niche of silver and gold ones too. The face of the coin has the badge and motto of the unit. The coins bear a lot of significance for each unit member, and they are treasured as long as they have them. When a new member joins their ranks, they get to be presented one as a symbol of acceptance. They can also be issued as a way of lifting the team spirits. These are all reason why an officer finds so much pride in their coin.
There are now more people interested in these coins, apart from law enforcement and the military. They are getting traded through auction houses, online stores and by private collectors. They are all looking to see where they will get the rarest, unique and valuable pieces. It is important for anyone interested in police challenge coins to go about their search carefully since there has been a rise in the sale of counterfeit ones. You need to be informed on the exact insignias that should be on a given coin, and see that it is the one printed on a coin you are being sold to. Generally, the older coins going back to the world wars are more valuable. New ones are not so expensive. The next valuable ones are those issued for acts of courage by law enforcement officers. They are usually few, making them more valuable.
You need to see to it that the coins are not damaged when you are buying them. Acquiring a coin will give you certain responsibilities. It is upon you to ensure the coin does not get damaged or defaced. Those that end up that way lose their value. There is a large collection of coins that got destroyed this way, since their owners had drilled a hole on them so as to wear them on chains. They are now rendered valueless due to such an act. You need to do your coin inspection thoroughly before buying. Check for any signs of damage before buying any.