Challenge coins have a long and storied tradition. That tradition has moved beyond just the military to law enforcement agencies and even athletic competition. For the modern collector with eclectic tastes, a challenge coin collection can get quite large, and so, here are seven innovative ideas for organization.
1. Arrange Coins Using Stock Books
Consider stock books, which have traditionally been associated with stamps but are available for challenge coins as well. Such books are a relatively inexpensive way to categorize many coins. The pockets can accommodate coins of many different sizes as well.
2. Organize by Stories
Every challenge coin has its own story. Associating coins with their stories and perhaps organizing them based on aspects of those stories in an intriguing way to arrange and show a collection. It serves as an opportunity to share a collection with others as well. A non-collector may not appreciate these coins at face value, but they will likely be drawn into the story through which the coin was earned.
3. Create an Online Database
Take images of your coins. Turn their stories into digital documents. Then, combine these elements into a database. Ideally, the database will be searchable by many other criteria as well, such as year, organization, person and so on and so forth. A local database will work, but an online database will mean that you have access to it wherever you have access to the Internet.
4. Open Website to the Public
An online DB gives you the option to open it to the public. If you’re particularly adventurous, you can let guests create their own queries and views. Perhaps they’ll give you some new ideas for classifying coins!
5. Group by Year
While it’s common to group coins based on the organizations associated with them, another option is to group based on the year they were created. This can allow a year to tell a story rather than a particular organization or event.
6. Categorize Based on Your Journey
Another option still is to base your collection not on the coins themselves but on your personal journey. This is particularly effective if you travel to acquire coins.
7. Collect Them on a Challenge Coin Wall
Finally, many people have organized wonderful collections by integrating them into their homes. Imagine dedicating an entire wall to coins that can be arranged not just methodically but with an artistic eye.
Be mindful that there doesn’t have to be just one strategy for arranging your collection. You can combine multiple strategies. You can also organize your collection into subsets in which various strategies and sets of strategies are used in different ways based on the theme or whatever.