Shedding Some Light on Glow in the Dark Challenge Coins

Posted by Patrick Moyer | Wednesday October 30th, 2019 | Topic: Products

Trying Out Something New

Here at Signature Coins, we are always looking for new and interesting options for our customers to design challenge coins. It’s always a fun experience to change up the formula and make something really unique. One customer even sent in metal shavings from their machine shop and asked that we find a way to incorporate them into the final coin as a personal touch to the actual composition of the design. While this is not an everyday request, we worked around the roadblocks and made sure the customer got exactly what they were looking for!

If you’re looking to try something new on your next order of challenge coins, it doesn’t need to be as big of a project as sending in your own metal shavings to create coins. It can be trying out more elaborate design options to help make your coins stand out from the crowd. One of our favorite ways to change up designs is by adding glow enamel. Take a look at some of our favorite examples of glow in the dark coins and see for yourself how adding this option can provide an extra layer of depth to your artwork.

Adding Glow Enamel to Your Coins

A lot of people think that adding glow enamel to a set of coins limits the colors that they can use, but this isn’t the case. We use enamel paint to add color to a coin and, to make the enamel glow, we add a special powder to the mix. This means that the color of the enamel can be any color you like, but when the lights are out, it will glow. While the paint is exposed to a strong light source (even from a flashlight) the glow powder in the enamel will charge up and be ready to shine.

Signaturecoins glow in the dark challenge coins halloween

These coins, for example, were created for different garrisons in the 501st Legion, and each one glows bright green in the dark even though neither of them has any green colorfill. Working with Vader’s Fist is always a fun experience because members of the legion love to experiment with different types of designs for the Star Wars inspired coins they create for fundraisers, awareness campaigns and conventions. 

We always prefer to coat glow enamel in epoxy to accentuate the effect and protect the paint. Enamel paint with glow powder mixed in has a sandy texture and is more susceptible to scratching or chipping than normal enamel. It also lacks the same luster as a coin with regular enamel. The epoxy coating protects the glow enamel from getting damaged and gives the coin a smooth texture and crisp appearance.

Challenge Coin Glow Enamel Comparison

The difference between these two Star Wars coins, in addition to shape and artwork, is that the Mothman Festival coin has epoxy over its purple glow enamel while the Porgbusters coin doesn’t have epoxy over its white glow enamel. White paint isn’t as bright under an epoxy coating, so the customer decided to leave the white glow enamel uncovered to preserve the vibrant appearance of the design. The brightness of other colors is not affected when adding a protective layer of epoxy coating, so we always add it to preserve the glow effect and prevent scratching.

The Devil is in the Details

Glow enamel does not have to cover so much of a coin. Sometimes our customers like to use the glow feature to accentuate designs in a subtle, and even eerie, fashion. Take this coin for example.

United States Airforce Glow in the dark challenge coin

These coins were made for a group of soldiers in the United States Air Force working in radiology. Since they work with things like x-rays and other sources of high energy radiation, we thought the glow enamel was a fun way to make the design just a little more personal. On the front of the coin, only the eyes and open mouth of the skull have blue glow enamel added while on the back, only the orbits of the electrons in the atom design have glow enamel. With this kind of design, you don’t know it will glow until the lights are out, and even then, you might have to take another look to make sure it’s not imbued with radiation.

Glow in the dark knights and coroners office challenge coin

When glow enamel is added to the smaller portions of a design it becomes a secret and subtle touch that not everyone will notice right away. Challenge coins invite examination and secret additions like the glowing eyes of this Army desert knights coin make the artwork just a little more special to the people receiving each coin.

Getting Started on Your Own Set of Glowing Challenge Coins

The special glow powder we mix in with the enamel can make any part of your coin glow. So, whether you want to add a subtle touch of glow in your design like the Dessert Knights coin or a much brighter glow that covers all of the design like the Mothman festival coins, we have got you covered. Most of our customers want a green or blue glow from their coins, but we have options for all kinds of different glowing colors. Just let our sales team know what colors you think will work best, or if you’re unsure, let our art team make a suggestion, and we will be happy to set to work bringing your vision to life.

Patrick Moyer Blog Author

Patrick Moyer

Patrick Moyer studied communications, professional and persuasive writing and marketing at the University of Central Florida. He is a full-time copywriter for Signature Promotional Group and spends all of his free time working on his next novel. Books, movies and late night brainstorming sessions around the kitchen table are his favorite pastimes, and his love of stories has him searching for the message hidden behind every custom design that comes through the office. If you think your Signature order deserves to be featured in a blog, give us a call or contact us explaining why at https://signaturecoins.com/contact