While there is nothing ordinary about a custom challenge coin, many of them share a few ordinary design queues like a round shape. There are all kinds of challenge coin shapes to work with, but creating a set of custom medallion coins is by far the most popular starting point for a coin design. You don’t need custom shaped challenge coins to create something more than an everyday keepsake. The round challenge coins we help design are all one-of-a-kind and sure to be a meaningful and memorable gift for your team.
Everyone knows round is the best shape known to all of nature. Whether we’re talking about a wheel of cheese or a challenge coin. That’s one of the reasons why most of our coins make use of this particular shape. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel, select a round challenge coin for your order and call it a day.
This coin pairs translucent enamel with high polish gold plating. It's the recessed sandblasting that gives the coin that particular glittering look. Translucent enamel is the sort of upgrade that can turn out very differently depending on the plating and certain other factors. But it always creates a striking effect.
One of the most striking things about this Diabolis coin is how much detail was fit into the 3D coin mold of such a small coin. When looking, it can be hard to believe it's only 1.5".
Miami Stabilization FBI Challenge Coin Side 2
When working with a lot of text, raised text will generally help with legibility more than recessed text will. But when all else fails, a dark colorfill background will always help.
Boston Police Homicide Unit
This law enforcement challenge coin makes use of high polish gold plating paired with a deep green colorfill to best represent the Boston Police Department. The spur edge is a particularly nice touch.
3D Challenge Coins
3D Critical Incident Team Challenge Coin
With highly detailed 3D artwork and a simple, single color green enamel colorfill area, this Critical Incident Team coin perfectly mixes classic design with innovative techniques.
Detachment Three Samurai Challenge Coin
3D challenge coins are not the only ones capable of exceptional detail. The design of the samurai mask and the detailing around it add a unique look and feel to this high polish gold coin.
Naughty Oak Brewing Hard Enamel Coin
This coin from Naughty Oak Brewing makes use of hard enamel in conjunction with the high polish silver plating. Hard enamel is a process that's still not regularly employed for challenge coins, and it's a difference you're more likely to feel in hand than see in a picture, but look close and you can see that the usual depth created by the raised and recessed areas of soft enamel coins isn't there for this coin.
3D Challenge Coins
UAS Technology Challenge Coin with 3D Drone
Raised text is a great option to help what you need to say jump off the coin face. This 3D challenge coin showcases how an otherwise simple design can be transformed into something special.
Prime Creedmoor Coin
Prime Ammunition decided to put their logo on one face of this coin. For the back, they created a design intended to mimic the look of a bullet and went with dual plating in antique gold and silver to make the design more realistic.
3D Challenge Coins
3D California Firefighter Challenge Coin
The 3D mold for this California firefighters coin makes use of raised letting with recessed colorfill for a truly unique look and feel. The red and blue enamel also add a great contrast to the antique gold plating.
3D Challenge Coins
3D US Customs and Border Protection Challenge Coin
The raised lettering and stars running around the outside of this 3D U.S. Customs and Border Protection challenge coin are an excellent example of how to improve a standard flat edge to something more unique.
3D Challenge Coins
3D Canadian Armed Forces Challenge Coin
This challenge coin features a depiction of the National War Memorial in Ottawa. It's a perfect example of just how detailed a 3D challenge coin can get.
Joint Terminal Attach Controller Coins
The front and back of this Australian Defence Force challenge coin have a completely different look and feel. The black and gold design on the front of the coin helps the winged emblem take center stage, while the coat of arms design on the back adds a vibrant splash of color.
Police Challenge Coins
Police K9 Challenge Coins
The dog on the front of this coin was part of a police K9 unit. His team sent us a picture that we used to create a 3D design with realistic depth and detail.
Traditional Medallion Shaped Coins Are Anything But Ordinary
Round challenge coins may share a common shape, but each is defined by characteristics like plating, edging, color, size and artwork. They all have a unique personality and tell a different story. When it comes to free online coin designers, it’s impossible to beat what our Signature Coins art team can do with just a few of your ideas. By the time you see your first free proof of artwork, you’ll see that even a set of custom medallion coins can have just as much personality as any set of custom shaped challenge coins.
Picking the Right Options For Your Custom Medallion Coins
One of the first things to consider when looking for ways to set your round challenge coins apart is metal plating. Coin plating serves as the base for your artwork and sets the tone for any medallion shaped coin design. We offer a wide array of different plating options like precious metal plating, colored metal finishes and also have the ability to combine two or more different plating options to create a truly unique design.
The different variations of gold and silver plating are by far the most common, however, some of our team’s favorite coins are minted with the most underutilized plating options like antique copper and black nickel. But if you’re looking for ways to turn a common circular challenge coin design into something exciting and unique, picking the right metal plating is only the first step.
Translucent paint can take any regular medallion shaped coin design to the next level. Coins with high polish plating are especially suited for translucent colorfill because a small amount of light is able to pass through the enamel paint and let the metal underneath shine. The rich contrast in color and glossy appearance of these types of coins can transform an otherwise boring shape into an unforgettable design.
Deciding to create a 3D challenge coin is another way to make a custom medallion coin stand apart from the crowd. Both 2D challenge coins and 3D challenge coins offer plenty of room to create beautiful designs with a unique sense of character, but 3D challenge coins have more potential for layered artwork with realistic depth and detail. Combine one of our custom edging options to a 3D design and really take your circular challenge coin up a notch.
Something else to consider is that round challenge coins don’t have to be perfectly circular. We’ve created coins molded to look like wax seals that have authentic imperfections in shape as well as oval-shaped challenge coins. Some other ways to play with the shape of a round challenge coin are adding custom cut outs in the design. Functional bottle opener cut outs encourage the recipients of your coins to keep them close at all times while more intricate cut outs are used to accentuate a design.
Whether you choose to mix and match options like edging, 3D artwork and translucent paint in your design or you decide to play with the shape of a traditional circular challenge coin, adding a few upgrades to an ordinary custom medallion coin will turn it into something extraordinary.
Creating the Perfect Round Challenge Coin Design
Whether you need a cut to shape challenge coin or a custom medallion coin, our design process is quick and easy. To create a coin, all you need to do is fill out a free quote form anywhere on our website. Once that is submitted with a few of your ideas, our art team will set to work and have your first free proof of artwork ready within 48 hours.
All artwork and revisions are free when working with Signature Coins because we want to encourage our customers to try out different options and adjust designs until everything is perfect. To keep things moving swiftly, it helps to provide all of your revisions at once, instead of one by one, to consolidate the number of proofs that need to be created. It also helps to provide our sales and art teams with as many details as possible in relation to the design you are looking for.
We accept anything from a quick bullet list of ideas to hand drawn-sketches. To help keep everything organized, download our coin template and include a copy with your free quote form. We pride ourselves on being the premier free online coin designer, so no matter how you tackle a challenge coin project with our team, you will not have to pay for anything until you’re completely satisfied with the design and ready to order.
Custom Medallion Coins From the Industry’s Best Challenge Coin Maker
Our Signature Coins team has been handcrafting custom medallion coins for law enforcement, firefighters, military, corporate businesses and everything else in between since the year 2000. Our talented art team and varied custom options are all you need to take a medallion challenge coin design to the next level. Send us your ideas today, and see why we are the best challenge coin maker online.
All of our products are backed with a 100% quality guarantee and come with free overnight shipping. Once you approve your free artwork after as many free revisions as you need, you can expect your custom challenge coins to be in your hands in 14 days or fewer.
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.
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.