He used to be an Aircraft Technician with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, but Tom Newey is now creating bespoke Challenge Coins for the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, Armed Forces, 10 Downing Street, the G7 Summit, British Aerospace, the Metropolitan Police, and many more. After a period of rapid growth throughout the UK since Tom founded the business in 2017, Challenge Coins UK are now exhibiting at Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) and moving to a larger business unit in Cheshire to produce even more bespoke coins.
A brief history of challenge coins and the armed forces
Challenge Coins have a long history within the armed forces all over the world and are usually given to mark a specific date, achievement, or allegiance to a unit or branch of the armed forces.
Ancient Greek warriors are said to have carried coins to pay for their trip to the afterlife, and it’s believed Roman soldiers were awarded a coin for exemplary service which could be kept or used as currency. In more modern times, a Challenge Coin was famously carried by a British pilot in World War I who was captured in German territory and used it to confirm his identity to French allies, saving himself from execution.
Today, soldiers and emergency service workers throughout the world use their Challenge Coins to swap with other service people and mark their commitment and achievements.
Establishing a veteran-owned business
Challenge Coins UK being veteran-owned means the small business knows exactly what service people and the emergency services want from their coins. The business’ founder, Tom Newey, completed basic training at ATR Bassingbourn and then began training as an Aircraft Technician at Arborfield. He was then posted to 3 Regiment Army Air Corps at Wattisham Airfield, an Apache helicopter unit. He completed a tour of Afghanistan in 2013 while posted to 663 Squadron.
“My first exposure to Challenge Coins was on exercise in Southern California. A US Navy Blue Angels display team technician gave me a Challenge Coin but I didn’t have one to swap with him, so I gave him some patches instead and decided my unit needed a coin. I ordered a small batch and sold them all in less than two weeks.”
Every coin designed and manufactured by Challenge Coins UK is unique, meaning no two units will ever have the same coin, honouring their unique experiences and achievements.
“The real seal of approval is that Challenge Coins UK is now licensed by the Ministry of Defence. I never would have imagined the coins could turn into this when I placed that first order in California.’
Exhibiting at one of the largest defence conferences in the world
DSEI brings international stakeholders together from throughout the defence sector, including governments, 1000 defence and security suppliers, keynotes and seminars from key figures in defence, and brand new innovations from throughout the defence supply chain.
Challenge Coins UK recently became one of DSEI 2021’s newest exhibitors, showcasing these unique commemorative coins for attendees across Aerospace, Land, Naval, Security & Joint Zones. Being a veteran-owned business means Challenge Coins UK is best placed to build relationships with military personnel throughout the international community and at every level.