12th Special Forces Gp Airborne 1st Special Forces Bronze Army Challenge Coin VSZ Ver #3
1 9/16 inch Challenge Coin
Condition: Used, and near mint shape. Please see pictures.
Also for reference pictures of the original artwork from 1978.
This a version #3, VSZ coin. It is in mint condition for its age!
Version #1, circa 1978: It is 1 9/16 in diameter. It has a smooth edge. It has the letters VSZ on the coin. The initials are a combination of the unit’s chaplain’s and his daughter’s initials whom designed the coin. The VSZ mark on this coin is smaller and is finer than the other coins. These were minted back in 1978 by The Robbins Company, Attleboro, MA. As per, the unit chaplain the letters ”VSZ” have a second meaning to the 12th SFGA: Victory, Service with Zeal. These coins were made in Gold, Silver, and Bronze colors. In addition, there were also some minted in Sterling Silver. Quantities Made: Unknown.
Version #2, circa 1980s: It is 1 9/16 in diameter. The serrated edge version. This version of VSZ is circa very early 1980s. A noticeable difference is the size of the letters in “VSZ”, and the beret is shaped a little different in the creases. This serrated edge version was minted by Earl Butler and Company, Inc., El Monte, CA. Quantities Made: Unknown.
Version #3, circa 1982-1993: It is 1 9/16 inches in diameter. It has a serrated edge, and the serrated edge is smaller than V2s. This version used the original design/artwork of the unit’s Chaplain and his daughter, and has the letters “VSZ” marked on them. A noticeable difference is the size of the letters in “VSZ”, and the beret artwork does not have creases like that on either version 1 or 2. These versions were made for vendor Phillips Military Surplus, and minted by Amadeo Enterprises, Alexander, LA. Orders were placed by all the 12th SFGA detachments. Quantities minted: 259 Gold toned color, 259 Antique Silver, and 560 verbronze.
Version #4, circa 2000s: It is 1 9/16 in diameter. It has a smooth edge. This version is not identified with the letters of the original designers, VSZ Initials. These were made in large quantities and sold in military exchanges and to the public. They were made in both silver toned color, and bronze. These have and flaw in the flash on the beret. The left most lightning bolt in the flash is malformed. These were made by Challenge Coin Company, and minted in Korea. Quantities Made: Unknown.
Version #5, circa 19??-20??: It is 1 9/16 in diameter. It has a smooth edge. This version is not identified with the letters of the original designers, and does not have the VSZ Initials. Only bronze version of this coin have been seen. Quantities Made: Unknown.
All of the VSZ coins are rare and hard to find versions of the 12 SFGA Challenge Coins.