Arbitrary handles are distinct in that they are not translated to session-persistent identifiers internally, or to entity names in AutoLISP, and so on. They are stored as handles. When handle values are translated in drawing-merge operations, arbitrary handles are ignored.
In all environments, arbitrary handles can be exchanged for entity names of the current drawing by means of the handent functions. A common usage of arbitrary handles is to refer to objects in external DXF and DWG files.