US Coins

Military challenge coin to be used for Seahawks-Giants coin toss

The always-numismatic pre-game coin toss might grab a few more collectors’ eyes at one of this weekend’s NFL games.

A military challenge coin will be used to determine who will kick and who will receive at Sunday’s Seattle Seahawks-New York Giants game in Seattle. 

The toss is part of the Seahawks’ Salute to Service game, part of a league-wide initiative to honor members of the armed forces.

In addition to the challenge coin toss, a military-inspired sticker giveaway and a halftime recognition of veterans are scheduled for the Seahawks game Sunday.

The challenge coin used in the coin toss will be designed and created by United Services Automobile Association

"The long-standing tradition among military members of carrying such coins symbolizes unit identity and collective brotherhood, and the coins are often traded or collected among unit members,” a Seahawks press release reads. "USAA's design of the military challenge coin for the Salute to Service game pays homage to that revered tradition."

Military challenge coins (actually medals) date back to World War II and began as British sixpence that served to be membership tokens for a military drinking club, Michele Orzano wrote in a 2000 Coin World article. 

"Years later, as military officials determined to discourage the emphasis on drinking, award coins began to surface,” Orzano wrote. "These are actually medals as they bear no denomination and have no legal tender status. Often they are presented by commanders to recognize the individual achievements of military personnel or a particular military unit.” readers may remember military challenge coins from when President Obama was caught on camera doling them out.

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