Challenge Coin Update

17_06_26_coin_obverse_02_det-200I have received several emails from priests who have upcoming Jubilees as well as from men who will soon be ordained.  They, too, want to have challenge coins made as I did for my 25th.  They wanted to know where/how I had mine made.

After I produced the design (I used the coat-of-arms on the side bar and then sought the help of a fellow who has helped with graphics on this blog, the great Vincenzo), I shopped around various sites looking for options and estimates.  There are lots of options, gentlemen.  My advice: If you want to do this, do not dawdle!  This can take a goodly chunk of time.  Start waaay in advance of the date you want to start distributing them.  Also, depending on the options you ask for and the number of coins you order, it won’t be cheap.  Lastly, have them numbered.  Mine are in a numbered series, engraved on the edge.

Next, this is fun.

I’ve been giving them – personally and by post – to some close friends and some particularly persistent and generous benefactors.   A few have been sent out in gratitude on receipt of a donation sent specifically for the purpose of getting one.  (Thanks!  That is defraying the cost of the coins, which is helpful: see the sidebar.)

Also, I have slowly but surely started to receive some coins from military and LEOs.  This is where the really fun part is.  When I get a coin, I send my coin.   I’ve already received a few spiffy one, too.  I’ll soon need a display case.

17_08_05_NYPD_HolyName_01I have a lot of travel coming up, including a trip this month to NYC where I hope personally to give a couple of my coins to the NYPD LEOs who gave me my first: NYPD Holy Name Society coins.  How cool is that?  They inspired me finally to get off my bum and get mine made, and so I am now honor bound to get my coins to them, and not by post.

In September, I’ll be in Rome for the 10th anniversary of Summorum Pontificum and I’ll take a few for friends and Swiss Guards.  As a matter of fact, a former Swiss Guard contacted me about having coins made for the Guards.  Again, very cool.

Anyway, LEOs and military, priests, etc., I’m open to exchanges.  The last one I got was from a cop in Salt Lake City.  He included a nice letter telling me about himself.  I’m mailing mine back to him today.

For those of you who don’t know how this works (imagine them being read really fast as at the end of a radio ad)

CHALLENGE COIN RULES (as I understand them – there are variations):

  1. Coin checks are allowed at any time, any place.
  2. Honor requires that people being challenged know the rules: explain beforehand if necessary.
  3. The challenge is initiated a) by drawing your coin, holding it in the air by whatever means possible and state, scream, shout or otherwise communicate that you are initiating a coin check; b) by firmly placing it on the bar, table, or floor in such a way that it produces an audible noise which can be heard by those being challenged.
  4. If you accidentally drop your coin and it makes an audible sound upon impact, then you have initiated a coin check.
  5. The challenger states if the challenge is for a single drink or for a round for a group.
  6. The response consists of all those persons being challenged producing their coin(s).
  7. If you are challenged and you are unable to respond, you must buy the specified a) single drink or b) round of drinks for the challenger and the group being challenged.
  8. You are allowed only four steps to retrieve your coin.
  9. If everyone being challenged responds in the correct manner, the challenger must buy a round of drinks for all those people he challenged.
  10. Failure to buy the drink or round is a most heinous and highly despicable delict. 
  11. “Coin” means a coin, not a belt buckle or other.
  12. If you hand someone a coin, you’ve given him your coin.  But if someone just wants to look at it, he is honor bound to give it back.
  13. Purposely giving a coin establishes a fraternal bond.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Former Altar Boy says:

    Never knew the rules, Father, so thanks for posting.

  2. jflare says:

    I am not acquainted with that rule about 4 steps.
    If challenged when walking, I would otherwise assume it wise to stop, retrieve the coin, show it, then proceed to my originally intended destination. …And, of course, come back to join the challenged for the drink!

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