Alcoholics Anonymous Coins: What Do they Mean?

Alcohol abuse affects 14.5 million people in the United States. Many people play down just how hard the struggle with addiction is, but that doesn't change the seriousness of the disease. 

If you or a loved one has suffered from alcohol abuse and sought the treatment of Alcoholics Anonymous, you're probably familiar with the concept of the Alcoholics Anonymous Coin. AA coins — also known as AA chips — are a longstanding tradition in the process of getting sober; but what do they mean? 

This article will walk you through all you need to know about AA coins.

What Does an Alcoholics Anonymous Coin Mean? 

An Alcoholics Anonymous coin is a small token that represents a landmark in sobriety. Recovery is a process, and every victory should be celebrated to help remind one of the journey and how far they've come. 

Usually, coins will feature a sign representative of Alcoholics Anonymous and an indicator of the amount of time completed. Our recovery chips also feature AA slogans on them — many of them even feature the famous portion of the serenity prayer. 

AA coins date back to 1942 when Sister Maria Ignatia — a nun who is often considered one of the mothers of AA — would give out coins to her patients as she released them. She made them promise to give the token back if they had another drink. This sense of responsibility helped her patients stay on the right track, and remember her generosity and grace. 

What Are the Types of Coins?

Now, the system for AA coins is more involved. Oftentimes, different colors and messages on coins mean different things. Let's take a look at a few common meanings. 


Silver usually represents 24 hours after sobriety, and the crucial first step of the journey. AA leaders should focus on buying coins that stress the message of "one day at a time". This emphasizes that alcoholics will do good to keep coming back to AA. 


Red tends to signify one month of recovery. One month of sobriety means you've made a significant commitment to recovering the safety of your body and mind. 


Blue represents six months of recovery. Six months may pass a lot quicker than many expect. Receiving the blue chip often tells those in recovery that the journey is much more completable than they expected. 

Some chapters of AA also give out coins for two months, three months, and nine months. 


When you've completed one year of recovery, you receive a chip that's not made of aluminum, but bronze. The solid nature of the material represents how solid you've been in your devotion. Receiving a bronze chip is an incredible moment of honor in recovery. 

Tokens Have Meanings

An Alcoholics Anonymous coin is a wonderful way to make someone's spiritual journey feel tangible. It reminds one to stay humble, and stay faithful to the path that they've chosen. 

While our world is getting more and more fast-baed, traditions — like Alcoholics Anonymous tokens — are still extremely important. 

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