Is It Real? How to Determine Challenge Coin Authenticity

Imagine this: You’re browsing the net late at night, and something catches your eye while you idly scroll through Craigslist: There’s a guy in your town who says he has a collection of over 100 authentic challenge coins, many rare.

Collecting challenge coins has been your thing for some years now. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity right in front of you. What’s stopping you? 

You’re concerned about challenge coin authenticity. You’re a seasoned hobbyist, but you don’t trust your eye with so much money on the line!

The man says he’s a former Marine, but you Googled his name and nothing came up. That’s not too uncommon—not everyone has a public internet presence—but scams are all over.

If you’re wondering, “Is my challenge coin authentic?”, you’re in the right place. Here are some pointers on how to best determine whether your challenge coins are real.

Know What’s Out There

The first step to knowing whether a challenge coin is authentic is to determine what category of coin it fits in. Real challenge coins typically fall into three categories:

  • Traditional government coins, given to service members on duty
  • Commemorative coins made for veterans to represent their unit
  • Generic coins exist as well, for laypeople to give to service members

Fake coins are coins that are not produced by or for service people.

Who Presented Them?

One key way to check for a coin that was presented on duty is to see whether your coin has text to the effect of “Presented by the commander” or “For excellence” printed on it. 

Who Makes Them?

The last step is not foolproof: Naturally, a counterfeit manufacturer could put that on their coins as well. How do you get around that?

Simple—Check out the manufacturer’s info. Are they affiliated with the military, police, fire service, or similar? Do they have a legitimate, established business?

Some businesses offer custom coins made uniquely for service people. Visit this website to check some out! Because they’re so personal, they’re real treasures to come across.

Who Has Them?

On that note, the next step is to see who has the coins.

Who are their clientele: Service people, commanders or divisions, or just their friends and families, and collectors?

If they aren’t getting business from actual service members, they may not be legit.

What About Secondhand Coins?

If you can’t easily find the information above because your coin is secondhand, you can still compare yours with legitimate ones you have or see online! You might also be able to talk to whoever’s selling the coins to learn more about their relation to them.

Put Your Knowledge of Challenge Coin Authenticity to Work

Get back in the game with this information in your pocket.

Now that you have these tips, you’ll never have to ask a brick wall if your challenge coin is real ever again: You can easily find real answers about challenge coin authenticity, right at your fingertips.

For information on similar topics, look no further! Just search among our wealth of blogs for more.

Best of luck with your coin collecting!

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