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Air Force Aircraft Challenge Coins

Today, over 50 different aircraft are used by the Air Force, each with its own specific categorization and tasks to accomplish. And each type of aircraft has specially trained men and women to pilot them. These pilots distinguish themselves in various ways and regularly earn custom Air Force challenge coins during their service. Custom coins depicting the different types of aircraft airmen are trained to operate often results in the most meaningful and memorable gifts awarded in recognition of excellence.

Showing Pride in the Sky With Aircraft Challenge Coins

USAF challenge coins are awarded to more than just pilots. Mechanics, administrators, analysts and every other type of Air Force personnel earn custom Air Force coins for their service. While they all have different responsibilities, they are all a part of our nation’s primary Air Power. Including detailed artwork of famous aircraft in custom coin design shows pride in what the Air Force can do in the sky and what can be achieved by living the Air Force motto, Aim High.

Our art team has the ability to create detailed 2D artwork of any specific aircraft as well as highly accurate 3D molded designs with realistic depth and detail. No matter what style of aircraft challenge coin you’re looking for, our Signature Coins team has got you covered.

Air Force Coin Gallery

Creating the Perfect Aircraft Challenge Coin

Just as sailors form close bonds with the ships they are stationed on, so do pilots, mechanics and operators of every kind form close bonds with specific aircraft. Navy crews will often describe their ship as a second home, and Navy ship challenge coins are the perfect way to honor both a crew and a vessel. Aircraft challenge coins are made in the same spirit and are the perfect symbol of how a team can work together and take to the skies.

Our art team has helped teams all throughout the USAF create coins referencing the Hercules C-130 transport aircraft, old school fighters like the P-51 Mustang, stealth bombers and even drones like the MQ-9 Reaper. Getting the design just right is all about deciding how you want to incorporate an aircraft into the artwork of your Air Force coins.

2D aircraft challenge coins by Siganture Coins

2D challenge coins are the most traditional style of custom coin and are perfect for capturing the likeness of any kind of aircraft. Our artists take special care to study the form of specific aircraft before setting to work on the custom coin design. We make sure to size components properly and even match natural aircraft colors as closely as possible to ensure depictions are as true to the original color scheme as possible.

Airforce Aircraft 3D coin and coin cutout by signaturecoins

Aircraft challenge coins with 3D artwork offer an even higher level of depth and detail. The authentic rise and fall in an aircraft’s form make for a truly striking USAF challenge coin design. We’ve even created custom aircraft challenge coins with cut outs around the fuselage and wings that capture a sense of flight in the artwork.

3D custom shape Airforce Aircraft coin by signature coins

Another popular way to create aircraft coins is to design something with a custom shape. Custom shaped challenge coins are crafted to look like anything our customers need and are perfect for anyone looking to create an incredibly detailed set of aircraft challenge coins.

No matter what style of custom challenge coin design you need, our Signature Coins team is here to help. Send us a few of your ideas today, and see what makes us the number one challenge coin maker available online.

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Spinner Propeller Coins

Make your coins interactive with floating spinners. See how customers incorporated propellers into their coin design.

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How To Get Started on a Meaningful Air Force Coin Design

Just like individual jets, aircraft challenge coins are fully customizable. The color, size and even the shape of your custom challenge coins are fully up to you. Giving a pilot a U.S. Air Force challenge coin in the shape of the aircraft he or she pilots is the kind of personal gesture that makes them feel appreciated and noticed for the hard work they do.

If you’re getting ready to create a coin of your own, the best place to start is looking at what makes your team unique. We encourage our customers to send us images of the aircraft they plan on including in their aircraft challenge coin design with their free quote form, as well as team emblems and mottos they believe will make the design more personal and meaningful to the team.

Once a quote form is submitted, our art team will set to work and have your first free proof of artwork delivered with a pricing quote within 48 business hours. Revisions are free and all orders come with free shipping and a 100% quality guarantee.

Challenge coins have a long history within the United States Military. For Airmen, their first challenge coin is awarded during the Airman’s Coin ceremony at the end of basic training. The Airman’s Coin represents personal accomplishment and admittance into the ranks of the Air Force. If their Airman’s Coin also happened to feature designs of the aircraft they’re likely to be working on, all the better.

But aircraft challenge coins are not reserved only for the U.S. Air Force. Our team has worked with allied militaries all over the world, teams of Navy pilots and even members of the U.S. Army to create air assault challenge coins. No matter where your airmen serve, or what they do, our Signature Coins team has everything you need to create a beautiful set of aircraft challenge coins for your team. Fill out a free quote today, and see how our team can help bring your vision for design to life.

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Ready To Get Started?

When you are ready to proceed, use the convenient Order Form on our site to place your challenge coin order.

Common Challenge Coin Questions

A challenge coin is usually a metal coin or medallion, bearing an organization's insignia, emblem or logo and carried by the organization's members. Traditionally, challenge coins were used by the military and displayed by service men and women to prove exclusive membership when challenged, and to enhance the military units' morale.

Historically, challenge coins were awarded by military unit commanders in recognition of special achievement made by a member of the unit. They are also known to be exchanged and traded during recognition visits to different international organizations, bases and service tours. These coins have been heavily collected by active and retired service members and law enforcement personnel for years.

Modern challenge coins are made in a variety of sizes and often include popular culture references such as superheroes as well as known characters in a parody. Many companies today are using them to build morale in teams, link people with similar interests and even to promote their brand. Challenge coin designs today are pushing the boundary of what a challenge coin could mean or be used for. One thing is for sure, personalized coins further strengthen the sense of bond within people that both give and receive them.

Challenge coins are often used as a physical token or symbol to represent membership to an organization, unit, or team.

Challenge coins also serve as a lasting personal award for anyone that has received one. Since they are custom and long lasting, challenge coins serve well to commemorate the time and experience put in to overcome overwhelming obstacles or the extraordinary effort and sacrifice needed to reach a given achievement. These keepsake coins become a life long reminder of the achievements made.

Challenge coins can also be used as a token to commemorate a special event or anniversary. You can view some of our commemorative coins here.

Our bravest first responder services also have a history of using challenge coins. Whether for fire departments, emergency medical technicians or law enforcement officers, challenge coins have been used to award bravery, acts of heroism and department camaraderie.

Many companies today have been started by veterans, or are veteran owned and are beginning to use the challenge coin tradition to help represent accomplishments in their businesses. This modern approach to awarding challenge coins has garnered some criticism from the traditionalists. Signature Coins has been making challenge coins for 20 plus years, and we see more and more companies joining in on awarding custom challenge coins to customers, staff, and volunteers. They are using them to build morale in teams, link people with similar interests and even to promote their brand or charities.

Generally speaking you give someone a challenge coin when you want to honor them for a good deed or for their hard work.

Challenge coins still play a major role in the military today, much like a "Thank you Plus" or "Great Job Plus". In the armed forces not every action rates an honorable medal or certificate, for those moments when someone is deserving of more than a thank you, awarding them with a challenge coin fills the gap.

As a very simple miltary example. You're out on a 3 day field op. One of your guys or gals busts their butt during a particularly stressful couple hours of it. Shows great attitude, effort, and was overal top notch. If you tried to write it up, it wouldn't "quite" be "award worthy" but definitely deserved "recognition."

Now even if you’re not a veteran or a member of the armed forces, you can still recognize and award someone with custom challenge coins.

You can use challenge coins to reward employees after the completion of a special project or if huge accomplishments have been made company wide. The coin design can be representative of the achievement, the employee or the company goals. Studies show when employees are recognized for a job well done, they feel more satisfied with their job performance, are more likely to reach for higher goals, and are more loyal to their organizations.

Finding the right time and place to give someone a challenge coin can be, well, a bit challenging.

  • Military tradition has a few ways of approaching this honor. One being "The Secret Handshake" where commanding officers, department officials or the president himself would shake a soldiers hand and "slip" them the coin via the handshake. Transferring the coin shouldn’t be dramatic or obvious, like a quiet wink and a nod, this honor is more personal to the people giving and receieving the award and less ceremonial. Although a bit more obvious, another military tradition is to hand them out in front of a formation or during a meeting, but it's more commonly done one on one.

  • As more civilians and businesses use challenge coins, they have taken a more ceremonious and inclusive approach to awarding them. When looking to give a challenge coin to an employee or team member most businesses will do it during a team meeting. Some businesses have even integrated their employee award recognition into their annual and quarterly ceremonies. Awarding their employees in front of others can be a great way to show the rest of the team that you too can be "recognized" if the effort is there.

  • Modern marketers are also finding that custom challenge coins make for great business cards, so many high end service providers, such as lawyers, accountants and commercial developers are now giving their custom coins out as a means of promoting themselves or their business offerings.

Challenge coins typically cost $3.00 -$5.00 per coin for a full production run of 100 coins generally speaking.

More specifically though, it depends. Challenge coin pricing is dependent on a variety of factors including size, quantity, and coloration. Your organization’s insignia or logo, as well as the brand standards surrounding it, will often dictate coloration. The level of complexity, industry standards, and personal preference will dictate the size of the coin.

You can view our challenge coin pricing here.

Designing challenge coins is a lot of fun, but there’s also a ton of things to think about before getting started. Luckily, we have years of experience making custom coins, and we’re happy to help you every step of the way.

We have put together a how-to guide that will tell you everything you need to know about challenge coin design.

Challenge Coin Design 101: A How-To Guide For Creating Challenge Coins