What are these things? The coins shown in this section are money, just like ordinary nickels, dimes and quarters in America. But, unlike regular coins in America, they are not legal tender. Printing currency is against the law so AAFES (Army Air Force Exchange Services, the WalMart for the military) at the direction of the Department of Defense created these as "gift certificates" for use by servicemembers participating in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. They are commonly referred to as "pogs."
But why paper? The military operating in these regions must dedicate its shipments to vital hardware and supplies. Metal coins weigh a lot more than these pogs. Both of these problems are circumvented by using paper currency in the place of metal coins.
Where can they be used? These coins are not legal tender so they cannot be used everywhere. They were created for use at AAFES stores serving troops deployed in contingency operations. Though they are only issued as change downrange, they are also accepted at AAFES stores worldwide. That means a soldier returning to a base in Germany or America, or elsewhere, from Iraq or Afghanistan with a pocketful of pogs won't have to lose money because of these pogs. Though, they do make great collectors items!
How can I get my own pogs? As with anything, eBay will usually have some for sale. Though what you find on eBay will likely be quite expensive. Numispedia does not have any for sale or trade at the moment, but if we ever do a notice will be posted here (please do not mail us asking for some unless the notice is up). Your best bet, if for some reason you're not eligible to join the military, is to find a pen pal deployed in the OEF/OIF areas. Check the Letters and Messages section at DOD's Show Your Support page for ways to do this. Please realize that the men and women over there are doing a tough job and their priority is not to boost your collection; be polite and courteous towards their situation. Even if you're not looking for pogs it would be a good idea to write the servicemen overseas, they enjoy it greatly. Good luck!
How does the numbering system work? Numispedia uses a system different from that you may have seen elsewhere. The idea behind our system is to make it as intuitive as possible. The first number is that of the series. Then a letter to denote the denomination: A=5¢, B=10¢, C=25¢. From there it becomes necessarily arbitrary: the next set of numbers corresponds to the order in which they are commonly displayed. If there is a variety, we'll affix another letter to the end. Since with and without OEF/OIF overprints are the most common varieties so far, "a" is reserved for those with the overprint and "b" for those without. Sounds like a lot, but it really does make listing pogs easier than other systems.
How should I store my pogs? AAFES produced a trifold album that could hold a full series, but it seems they no longer make them. You could easily keep your pogs tucked away in envelopes, but then how would you look at them? I recommend using standard 20-pocket non-PVC pages. They fit any 3-ring binder and are available anywhere coin collecting supplies are sold. The pogs stay nicely in place so long as you don't shake the album upside down. If you want an extra level of protection you could put them in mylar 2x2 flips.
AAFES pogs home
Series One (ND/2003)
Series Two (ND/2003)
Series Three (2003)
Series Four (2004)
Series Five (2004)
Series Six (2005)
Series Seven (2005B)
Series Eight (2006A)
Series Nine (2006B)
OIF 2003 Album
Pog stuff :
Need help IDing your pogs? Don't know which series it belongs to? At least you know if it is a nickel or a dime, so try looking at all dimes on a single page!
Just browsing? Check out each series released so far one by one. Each series page is complete with a checklist, release data and other good info—along with the pictures, of course!
Feature Articles on AAFES pogs:
Sign our guestbook (or post your have/wantlist).
All pogs on this site are shown in their actual size, 38mm. Click on any image for a larger view.
Want your own pogs? Join the military!
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