Challenge coins are a wonderful way to bring members of a group or organization together. When they are done properly and with care, they can be beautiful pieces of artwork that group members will love to show off and exchange. There are a few elements to consider for great coins.
Challenge coins are deeply personal to the group members they represent. The artwork chosen for the coins should showcase the things that bring them together. Sometimes, a group already has an insignia they can use for their coins. Other times, the members can get together to create one. It’s advisable to add significant locations, dates, and other details to the art design for a powerful, impactful challenge coin.
2. Enamel Options
Enamel is what is used to give the challenge coins their color. Once the artwork is chosen, it’s important to decide which type of enamel is right for that particular design. When it comes to enamel, there are three options:
1. Soft Enamel
When a coin has soft enamel, that means the coin’s design is only partly filled with enamel. This leaves raised metal edges that can give the coins a fascinating 3D-like effect and add a lot of visual interest and depth. The edges also add a fun tactile element to the coins instead of them being fully flat.
2. Hard Enamel
If hard enamel is chosen, the coin’s metal base will be overfilled with enamel and sanded down smooth. This enamel style gives a professional, polished look.
Hard enamel coins might be a bit more durable than soft enamel. One consideration is that because they are sanded down, they are not ideal for designs that include intricate or small details.
In some cases, challenge coins are made with no enamel, and only the metal base shows. Not using enamel gives the coins a look that resembles actual currency. When only the design is included, it really pops. It’s a minimalistic, streamlined aesthetic. This option also can deliver the best of both worlds. No enamel means they can have intricate designs as well as depth and 3D-type looks. Once the design is chosen, professionals can help to decide which enamel option is best to bring it to life.
3. Plating Options
Plating choices can have a large impact on the final outcome of the challenge coins. It’s recommended to choose plating colors that complement the enamel colors that are used. If the design has a lot of cool colors, it might be best to go for a silver-toned plating. Warmer colors like reds and oranges might look best with golden tones.
4. Weight, Shape, And Size
The dimensions and portability of the final design are something to consider, as well. Round is the most common choice for challenge coins, but sometimes custom shapes are used. They can really make an impact. The usual diameter of challenge coins is 1.75 inches, but your design may call for a larger or smaller coin, depending upon the detail work and purpose of the coin. Thicker coins can add visual appeal and seem more valuable. They cost more, so budgetary considerations can impact the final choice. Proper planning will deliver the best possible results.