It’s no secret, Our Marines love there challenge coins. There are many types of Marine challenge coins. The first type is considered a basic USMC challenge coins.On one side it bares the Marines emblem or seal, the very awesome eagle, globe, and anchor. There are a few different versions of the seal. Officially there is 3 versions. The first is the version where it recognizes that the Marines are a Department of the United States Navy, underlining with United States Marine Corps. The second version bares the ” EGA” and only reads United States Marine Corps. Finally the third version where the EGA is subdued. Within these three types of seals there are small variations that one may find. The first variation being the EGA is 3D shiny silver and shiny gold. Then next the EGA is one basic plating. The other variation easily spotted is whether the eagle is holding the banner that reads Semper Fidelis which means “Always Faithful” or “Always Loyal.”The second type of Marine Challenge Coins are more custom coins. Each side baring something about the unit the coins are for. The front may have a unit insignia or crest while the back represents more of said units deployed location or mission. Sometimes a challenge coin will have a combination of missions and locations represented on it. This is usually because the branch doesn’t mint challenge coins are often as many of the other branches of our military.
The third type of Marine Challenge Coins are commander coins. This type of coin is usually purchased by the leading commander or commanders and has his well earned rank occupying one side of the coin. If you see a Marine challenge coin with this on one side you can almost always guarantee it is official and very sought after as a collector. The back of a commander coin usually has his years enlisted, his name if it is not on the front, the units crest or insignia, and possibly a personal motto.
The last and most common Marine challenge coin is a USMC Birthday Ball Coin. These are minted every year by individual units of the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps Birthday Ball is a great time to celebrate the long proud traditions of the Corps. Where each member of the unit receives the keepsake at the event. Birthday ball coins usually have the ENG and the units crest on it but reads more about the years of the United States Marine Corps existence. A popular figure on birthday ball coins is the image of the Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima is a historic photograph taken on February 23, 1945.