Same Idea, Different Kind of TeamSoldiers have been earning custom challenge coins in honor of their service since as early as WWI, but the tradition is not reserved only for people in the military. Over the years, challenge coins have found their way into a number of interesting places that may not immediately come to mind. One of these odd places is in Hollywood.
Marvel Entertainment, the pioneer in superhero blockbusters, has some experience with custom coins. For Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel, members of the cast and crew each received one of these special commemorative coins for their efforts. It takes a different kind of army to make a film, and the people in charge of the project wanted to make sure that everyone’s dedication and hard work was honored in a meaningful way.
Military challenge coins and cast and crew challenge coins are not so different when you get right down to things. If you take a look at why people find so much value in a coin like this, it’s easy to see why challenge coins are so popular in all types of different organizations, not just the military and the movies.
Cast and Crew Coins Made For a Different Kind of ArmyChallenge coins are not made for every movie set, but there are some people in the industry who famously include a commemorative coin during production for different members of the team. Henry Cavill is one such person. He is most well known for his role as Superman in the DC cinematic universe, however, Cavill has appeared in several other popular blockbusters such as The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Mission Impossible: Fallout. No matter what his role may be, Cavill always commissions a custom series of coins for the entire cast and crew and has them delivered once production has wrapped. Each coin comes with a personal note thanking each member of the crew for their service and hard work.
Challenge Coins like these are a perfect way to give someone a piece of the experience to take home. To put it simply, giving someone a challenge coin is a sign of respect. Another famous member of the filmmaking community, Jon Favreau (Iron Man, The Jungle Book), described why he started making custom “Director” coins in an interview with Film School Rejects.
“On Iron Man [and] Iron Man 2, we were at Edwards Air Force Base. And I would shake hands with people, and I would feel they would stick a coin in my hands, right?” He went on to describe the challenge coin game famous within the military that the coins are used for and then said, “But it was also a sign of respect, that they liked the way the crew was, and the way we treated them.”
With coins like these, it’s easy to see the influence of military commander coins. It's traditional for commanding officers to mint a signature coin that they can award to deserving soldiers in their command as a sign of respect and appreciation. If you take a look at just a few examples, you can see parallels in the design structure. It's common to see things like names, rank and operations included in the design, as well as a reference to the coin being earned through excellence.
Favreau put it best when he said that challenge coins are the perfect way to show respect and to honor someone. He has made it a point to have a personal Director’s coin created for all of his films, and he hands them out to crew members, fans and press. In his own way, Favreau is sharing his love of storytelling with the world through challenge coins, and that is what makes coins like this so special. No matter what you are making a coin for, the design is a way of sharing your team’s story.
Making Coins For Your TeamThe process of making custom coins like this is easier than you may think. And it's not just large film companies and big-name actors creating coins either. Small indie films sometimes have challenge coins minted to help promote their films, to hand out to supporters and to raise money before a shoot. These coins, for instance, were created for a small indie production studio called TFO Productions. Each design was modeled after the artwork from their film Grunk the Smasher.
The point is that anyone can benefit from challenge coins, not just the military or the production giants of the world. No matter what your background is, something like a challenge coin carries so much weight because of how it captures the spirit of a team and honors a person’s hard work and dedication. They are always a personal sign of respect.
We have been fortunate enough to make custom coins for the film industry, for big-name corporations like Amazon and Facebook and small mom and pop shops around the corner. Just like every movie and every team has a different story to tell, so does each custom challenge coin. We know that every customer is unique. Our job is to help you tell your story. If you are ready to get started on your own set of custom challenge coins, our Signature Coins team is here to help.