Police Coins: Meaning, Value, and Symbolism

The word ‘Police’ originated from the Greek word ‘Polis,’ meaning ‘City.’ It indicates that ancient police officers were individuals of the City to the limited extent that they existed as a distinct body. Police are typically responsible for sustaining public order and safety, enforcing the law, and preventing, detecting, and investigating criminal activities.

One of the ways people pay tribute to the police officers who have given their lives to protect our communities is by rewarding them with a challenge coin. Like in the military, first responders, such as police officers or paramedics, also preserve the tradition of challenge coins. The coins represent anything from a small unit to the offices of top leaders, and there are also coins made for special events, anniversaries, and even nonmilitary leaders.

What Are Police Coins?

A police challenge coin is a small coin or medallion conveying a police department’s insignia or emblem and carried by the officers in the force. Traditionally, they might be given to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale, and also to honor and remember the sacrifices of those officers who gave their lives in the line of serving and protecting the public.

Depending on its unique design, a police coin can be used for any of the following purposes:

Celebratory: Challenge coins are usually made to honor a specific member of a police force, department, or station. And also to honor a person for a special achievement.

Initiation: Coins are also awarded to police officers initiated to a specific unit, department, or station.

Honor the Fallen: There are many times that challenge coins were produced to honor the police officers who are fallen in the line of duty. 

Throughout their service, police officers use the coins to prove their allegiance when challenged. High-ranking officers and retirees often display a collection of coins in their offices alongside uniform patches and ribbons as a symbol of pride. The coins have always been purely about morale and commitment.

Police Challenge Coins

What Do Police Coin Symbols Mean?

We can see a lot of graphics and image similarities on a police challenge coin. It’s because most of them show police badges and insignias, and most of them refer to the original police officer badge. Police badges date back to medieval times when knights wore a coat of arms representing their allegiances and loyalty. It is perhaps the most visible and recognizable symbol of policing worldwide. 

Here are some graphic symbols that are commonly shown on a police challenge coin:

– Police Badge: The police badge, which usually looks like a metal shield, represents honor and integrity. 

– City’s Seal: The seal of a city or a town on a police coin symbolizes the community the police officers protect and serve.

– The Color Blue: Blue epitomizes the “thin blue line,” a term that typically refers to the concept of the police as the line which keeps society from descending into violent chaos. 

– Star: The star symbolizes authority with which all police officers are more or less invested. In the middle of the points and center of the star is a blue field. The points are gold, which signifies the position under which they serve.

Although a law enforcement badge which is normally shown on a challenge coin, may seem like only a simple portrayal of position and authority, it symbolizes the police officers’ dedication to sacrificing’s one safety to assist others. It is a symbol and a promise to uphold the best interests of their community within their position.

Police Challenge Coins

What’s the Value of Police Coins?

Police challenge coins are often considered to be priceless in value to those that receive them. A police officer who is rewarded with a challenge coin knows the real value of it. It surpasses any material value because it represents honor and brotherhood.

With each specially designed and produced coin, every police officer knows that they belong to that one community that has the same passion, dedication, and responsibility.

Collectible police or law enforcement coins can sell for thousands of dollars or as little as ninety-nine cents. The significant range in value between these coins depends on various determining factors that are also used to assess other kinds of collectible items, such as rarity, significance, condition, sentimental value, and design.

Design Your Own Police Challenge Coin

You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to design and produce your police challenge coin. Whether you need a custom design or have one in mind, we will do our best to produce your police coin with the highest quality your budget can afford. Most police coins are 1.5” to 1.75” in size, but they can vary depending on your wishes. We designed and manufactured only the highest quality coins, using tried and true enameling techniques,  

As an organization built with service and high values in mind, Embleholics understands the unique requirements of police coins. Contact our professional, experienced team today to create a police coin designed specifically for your lodge or group. Each coin is made special, honoring your history of service.