How to Design the Perfect Custom Commemorative Coin for Your Organization

A commemorative coin can be a great way to memorialize people, tragedies, events, courage, and more. They can also be used to build unity among a group of people. But designing a commemorative coin can be intimidating. Also, remember a few things as you begin the design process.

Know Your Purpose

Whether celebrating an anniversary or honoring someone for their service, commemorative coins are great ways to recognize memorable moments and milestones. Unlike certificates, these items have the potential to become treasured keepsakes for years to come. The key to designing a perfect custom commemorative coin starts with knowing your purpose. You may want to create a challenge coin for a military unit, fraternal organization, police department, or business. But the popularity of these coins extends far beyond these groups and is now used by sports teams, schools, and hobbyists alike. Once you know your purpose, it will help you decide on a shape and size for your coin. For example, 2-inch coins are popular and offer ample space for more intricate designs and artwork. They’re also a good choice for promotional purposes. And if you choose the right plating color can enhance your coin’s overall look and create a standout piece that is hard to miss. For instance, silver plating works well with warm enamel colors such as red and cool enamel colors like blue.

Decide on a Design

When you’re ready to create your custom coin design, the first step is to decide on a style. Some customers already have a full graphic image or their company’s logo in mind for their challenge coins, while others start from scratch to create a unique and original design. Next, you’ll need to decide on a plating option. We offer various options, including a simple gold metal finish, silver, black nickel, or polished brass. Additionally, you can add dual plating, which uses masking to layer two different finishes on the same coin for a unique look. Then, once you’ve decided on a plating choice, the next step is to determine your coin’s edge details. Options include straight or double edges, reeded, structured, triangular, waved, and spiraled edges. After the edge details are engraved, your coins will be “deburred” or smoothed down, which removes any sharp or hard edges. Finally, the coin will be sandblasted or hand-polished to give them a more rugged and finished look. Add an optional epoxy coating to protect your coins from scratches and dings.

Decide on a Material

A commemorative coin is a unique souvenir that holds significance well beyond the moment it was created. It evokes memories and honors those who make a difference in our lives and communities. There are many different ways to customize a custom challenge coin. You can change the weight and background texture of the coin to create a truly one-of-a-kind product. For example, adding a sandblast finish can make your coins look incredibly cool and feel different in your hands than if they were simply polished. Once you’ve settled on a design for your coin, the next step is to choose a finish. Plating can be a simple gold or silver, or add an antiques finish for a unique look. You can also choose from a variety of different plating thicknesses. Thicker coatings will provide a deeper color and are ideal for 3D designs. Finally, you can add epoxy doming to your coin, which gives it a smooth glass-like finish and protects the colors from scratches or tarnishing. You can choose from various thicknesses for the doming, but we highly recommend getting at least a 2mm thick coat.

Decide on a Finish

A challenge coin is a metal medallion worn to symbolize membership in an organization or team. They have long been used by first-responder agencies and various other groups in the military to show appreciation or celebrate milestones. In addition to your plating options, you can add multiple finishing touches to create a perfect coin for your group. Consider a textured finish built into the mold to give the coin a gritty or woven look, or mix glow-in-the-dark material into enamel colors for a unique effect. For a more traditional touch, opt for a reeded edge or add a series of small engraved sequential numbers for added exclusivity. If you want your coin to stand out, opt for dual plating, which uses a masking process to add two different plating choices to the same design on one coin. This is an excellent option for coins that include a photograph or images. Black metal works well with 2-D structures because it does not reflect light, letting the artwork or image stand out instead.

Decide on a 3D Image

For those looking to take their custom coin design to the next level, 3D coins are a great option. While 2D coins only feature two planes of metal with raised and recessed surfaces, 3D designs can feature unlimited levels of depth and rounded edges between the different areas. This allows for the creation of detailed company emblems, team mascots, and stylized representations of people and faces. Often, units and companies choose to have their commemorative coin designed with 2D and 3D images or in both 2D and offset print. This is a great way to get the best of both worlds, especially when budget is a concern. Whether trying to create a memorable emblem, a catchy bar challenge coin, or a powerful memorial coin, the right custom commemorative coin can help your organization stand out. With a wide range of shapes and sizes, unlimited color options, edge text, and 3D imagery, our custom commemorative coins will meet all your organizational needs. 


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