Celebrating a Worldwide Phenomenon at Star Wars Celebration 2019
After a 2018 hiatus, Star Wars Celebration is back for 2019, and it’s poised to be an exciting weekend for fans at the convention and all around the world. Official news on Episode IX has been scarce thus far, and you can bet the attendees to this year's show will be expecting some big reveals. Cast and crew members from all different generations of the Star Wars universe will be hosting panels, interacting with fans on the convention floor and avoiding giving away too much of what’s to come in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
It goes without saying that there will be all kinds of memorabilia, collectibles and apparel changing hands as everyone gears up for all the big reveals, but something a lot of people don’t know about are all the custom coins that will be exchanged as well. The members of the 501st Legion attending the show will come armed with personal coins, coins from their garrisons, and all sorts of other Star Wars coins to trade and share with fellow legionnaires.
Coins like the ones you see here only offer a small glimpse into the immense Star Wars universe. The different designs, ideas and uses for the coins illustrate how this worldwide phenomenon transcends the lines between countries, ethnicities and man-made boundaries to bring people together in a way like no other. People from all over the world will be in Chicago this weekend, each sharing a sense of identity and a common love for a galaxy far, far away.
The Many Different Coins of the 501st Legion
501st Legion challenge coins come in all different colors, shapes and sizes and are made for different purposes for different garrisons (local detachments) all over the world. Some are created to help fundraise for local charities, while others are personal coins traded between members of the Legion. The Legion itself is modeled off the structure of the United States Military, with garrisons, detachments and units dispersed all over the world, so if you are hoping to join, or maybe have a 501st appearance at your next event, odds are there is a garrison nearby.
Just like the military, different teams within the Legion like to have their own special coins minted to celebrate their history, location and the specific character a person represents in their unit.
Copperhead Squad is based out of Tasmania while Everglades Squad is part of the Florida Garrison here in the states. Coins like these are shared among teammates and traded with other squads at gatherings like this weekend’s Star Wars Celebration. While these coins are a lot of fun, the personal coins created by individual members of the Legion can get even more unique.
Every member of the 501st Legion is issued a unique ID number, and a lot of troopers like to include their ID on personal coins like these. Troopers can look the same in their armor, but that doesn’t stop them from adding a little bit of personality to their costumes. Both ST-31917 and BH-32517 are registered Legion members, so anyone who receives one of these coins can look them up later through the 501st website. It’s a fun way to stay connected with members of different garrisons across the country and beyond.
We are fortunate enough to work with garrisons and squads from all corners of the world and have helped them come up with all kinds of different designs for fundraising, trading and collecting. One of our favorite customers is a member of the Outer Rim Garrison in Canada, Nick Harrison. He plays the role of Darth Vader in his squad, and the coins he makes are some of our favorites here in the office. His famous Tiki themed coins are so popular that there is a dedicated booth for trading and collecting them at this year’s show, and the other mashup designs he dreams up with references to other popular characters and movies are always exciting to work on.
Mashup designs like these that result in awesome pop culture coins are a popular choice for many members of the Legion. Different garrisons have made coins referencing Game of Thrones, Disney/Pixar’s Up, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and even Mary Poppins. Depending on what kind of fundraiser or event the coins will be used for, squads sometimes order multiple versions of the same coin. This can help save money on larger orders and add variety to the coin design. These tiki coins are a great example of a fun pop culture coin in several different plating styles.
More Than Just Challenge Coins
We may be a custom coin company, but that doesn’t stop us from helping the customers looking for more than just challenge coins. Our team makes custom pins and patches, cufflinks and even belt buckles. We bring the same quality and customer service to all of our other products, so why stop at custom coins? After carefully crafting the perfect design with our art team, members of the 501st like to add some variety to what they offer at events and fundraiser by ordering things like these patches and pins. It’s easier than having to start over from scratch with another company and our quality can’t be beaten!
Making a Difference Where It Matters
For an organization sometimes called Vader’s Fist, the Legion is a much more benevolent group than the name would suggest. They are committed to giving back to the community by offering help in awareness campaigns, fundraising for important causes and bringing joy to the lives of people who need it most. The coins they make are used in these programs and events. They represent a shared love of Star Wars, and of helping others and giving back to the community. There will be all sorts of coins trading hands during Star Wars Celebration this weekend, but even more will be handed out throughout the year, making a difference where it matters most: in the lives of people in need of help, and a little Star Wars magic.
Keep an eye on Signature Coins to stay up to date on all the latest in Star Wars challenge coin news, but be sure to tune in to the Star Wars Celebration coverage to get the inside scoop on Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker!