More Than the Average Bourbon Street Doubloon
If you've ever been to a Mardi Gras celebration, then you’re probably familiar with the bead necklaces flying in every direction, as well as the cheap plastic coins. These types of souvenirs are all about fun and games, but they don’t have any value apart from adding a little festive swag to your look during the party.
When it comes to challenge coins, it’s a different story altogether. We don’t make cheap plastic doubloons or tokens. Our team makes true die struck metal coins with custom designs and vibrant colors. Every customer is guaranteed to get a one-of-a-kind design because everything we create is made from scratch based on the ideas that you send our art team. While the plastic treasure coins have their place among the crowds of people navigating Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras, custom challenge coins have their own place in the celebration as well.
What we find most interesting about these custom Mardi Gras challenge coins is how they are perfect for celebrating the festive culture of Louisiana and Bourbon Street year round, and not just during the Mardi Gras season. When coins take inspiration from the heritage and traditions of their home, the designs are more meaningful and memorable tools for honoring a group’s culture and character.
Krewe Mystique Challenge Coins
While the actual day of Mardi Gras is famously festive and draws in people from all over the world, the spirit of Mardi Gras continues all throughout the year with Le Krewe Mystique De La Capitale. Established in 1976, Krewe Mystique is a membership-based organization with events all throughout the year. During the Mardi Gras season, they are involved with all kinds of different festivities, most notably with their Baton Rouge parade.
These custom coins were made to celebrate the annual parade that takes place every February a few weeks before the actual day of Mardi Gras. Specifically, these coins were created for the veterans, law enforcement personnel and first responders involved with the parade. Since challenge coins are such a famous tradition among soldiers, police officers and firefighters, the Krewe Mystique thought these Mardi Gras inspired coins would be the perfect way to say a meaningful thank you for all of their service to our nation.
To the men and women receiving them, the colorful artwork and intricate design of these coins is a reminder of their experience in New Orleans with the Krewe Mystique. Its design is like a signature from the organization that holds sentimental value all throughout the year.
Timeless Mardi Gras Designs That Work Year Round
When Dusti Ward contacted us about creating a special coin for the Coast Guard Spouses’ Club of Greater New Orleans, we were happy to help. Funnily enough, these coins were ordered the day before Mardi Gras. While our turnaround times are second to none, we have yet to design and deliver a custom set of coins in as little as a day (although we have managed a three-day turnaround). At first, we thought that the coins were intended for the Mardi Gras festivities, but we came to realize that they were made for something else entirely.
“The idea behind commissioning our own challenge coins came from the government shutdown earlier this year,” said Ward. Members of the Coast Guard didn’t receive pay during the shutdown, so the club organized a gift card drive to help keep food on the tables of Coast Guard families in the local area.
"Once the government opened up again, we realized how many of our New Orleans’ spouses came together to help. The challenge coin seemed like the ideal way to celebrate and congratulate these amazing people,” said Ward.
For the design, Ward said that they were looking for something that “captured the spirit of New Orleans.” The club’s unique logo is pressed into the front of the coin while the reverse side has a more colorful design. “We wanted something lighthearted, yet modern enough to stand the test of time,” said Ward.
The club hosted a dinner and handed out the coins with a certificate of honor to all the people who came together during a time of great need. Ward said, “Our goals (as a club) are simply to provide support, resources, and to be a central location for spouses to connect.” It’s easy to see how important their mission really is during a time like the recent shutdown when Coast Guard families were struggling to stay afloat. These coins may not have been created for the day of Mardi Gras, but they still honor the history and culture of Mardi Gras, Louisiana and the amazing people who live there.
Legends that Live On Through Design
The crazy festivities and rich history of Bourbon Street and the events that take place around Mardi Gras are the stuff of legend. The festive reputation of Louisiana continues all throughout the year, inspiring challenge coin designs that capture the spirit of New Orleans in a meaningful and relatable way. Mardi Gras may only take place one day a year, but the atmosphere and legendary history live on well after the party is over.
That’s what makes designs like this so special. They may not have been made to celebrate Mardi Gras, but they honor the culture and history of the area in a meaningful way. For anyone looking to make a set of custom challenge coins, taking inspiration from your surroundings is sure to make the design more special and memorable to the people carrying them. Not every state has a Mardi Gras, but there are unique legends in every corner of the world, whose stories can be told through challenge coin designs. Next time you need a set of custom coins, tell us your story, and we will be happy to make something special for your team that honors the culture and history of your home state.