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Using Custom Challenge Coins to Celebrate Martial Arts Achievements

April 25th, 2011

The popularity of martial arts fighting, especially mixed martial arts, has grown drastically all over the world. People of all ages have taken an interest in learning the not only the moves but also the principles and the many mental and physical health benefits of regular training. Martial arts offers its students an added bonus of the major boost in confidence and overall satisfaction that comes with advancing through their respective programs.

Many martial arts forms, like jujitsu, recognize apt students using a color system. Successful trainees are given special color coded belts once they have proven their development of key abilities and principle centered behavior. The belts act as an announcement of the students’ success and means of awarding their achievement. Using customized challenge coins in conjugation with traditional recognition methods is another great way to motivate students to stay on the track.

The Real Reward is in the Training

Recently, we were contacted by a customer who manages Kurisho-Do, a martial arts dojo. He requested a customized award coin to recognize students who have been inducted to the academy’s hall of fame. The challenge coin design, includes many eye catching and awe inspiring elements that both senseis and students will be happy to hand out as well as show off.

The recognition challenge coin, was fashioned in a traditional round shape and includes the dojo’s official logo and related Chinese character text on one side. The opposite side was proudly and artistically used to announce the success and entitlements of the award coin’s owner.

Understanding Key Design Elements

When creating your award challenge coin design, arriving at the perfect one is the ultimate goal. The image of the Kuroshi –Do challenge coin shown here, is what we call a digital proof. As you can see it displays an assortment information about the coin’s design in addition to the front and back images of the actual challenge coin.

Our digital proofing system is immeasurably valuable tool that Signature Coins award coin customers and recipients greatly appreciate. From a challenge coin manufacturing stand point, it allows us share our vision of the personalized coin with the customer and provides a clear starting point. For customers, it makes it easy to incorporate their ideas and oversee the development of a unique and valued item that they will be 100% satisfied with which is rewarding in and of itself.

If you are a teacher of any kind, the next time your students reach a milestone and are due advance and be recognized, you should consider the versatility and unlimited design potential of custom award challenge coins.

Custom challenge coins are easy to design and can be coordinated to complement an existing award program, like the one used in martial arts study. They are also affordable and simply a creative and fun idea.

Call Signature Coins at 1-800-953-3607 to start the custom challenge coin order for your next Hall of Fame or recognition ceremony. Our talented graphic artists are available now and look forward to creating a design your students are sure to love. Submit your ideas to them by emailing

Creating Customized Cause Related Challenge Coins to Raise Money For Non-Profit Events

April 21st, 2011

Many companies organize teams or groups to participate in non-profit cause related events like the March Of Dimes and the Alzheimer’s Memory Walk. Items like customized tee shirts, hats and mugs as well as a free lunch or VIP admission into special thank you galas are just a few ways in which participants are rewarded for their efforts.

Inspiring and Thanking Your Team’s Sponsors

Our question is, what about the sponsors who donate money, to research, development and treatment, on behalf of the event’s runners, bikers or walkers? For anyone and everyone who pledges their time a non-profit event to raise money, we suggest creating custom cause challenge coins.

If your company has a team or group that usually participates in a cause related event, offering and giving sponsors a customized challenge coin, to say thank you for their donations, will act as an added incentive to make a pledge. It will also give them a little something extra to look forward to about sponsoring next year’s event.

Designing Coins to Reach Full Fundraising Potential

To maximize your personalized coins fundraising potential, it is important to design coins in way that both the non-profit and your sponsors will appreciate. As a leader in the challenge coin industry, we have some design ideas that will help make your team’s coin unique and collectible.

For the best results, you should choose a double sided challenge coin and:

  • On one side, include the event name, date and, if allowed, the event’s or the non-profit organization’s official logo.
  • Your company, team name and logo on the opposite side.
  • Use a shape other than round,  like a star, heart, diamond or a combination  of two shapes
  • Include add-ons like glitter, danglers, cut-out or bobbles to give the coin character and flare
  • Most importantly, trust the creation of your challenge coin design to the professionals at Signature Coins.

For annual events, non-profits encourage participants to get sponsors and raise money by offering the individual members incentives, like customized memorabilia and admission to special events. Team members can boost their fundraising potential by applying this same principle to their sponsors using personalized challenge coins.

Contact Signature Coins today at to learn more about our coin design options and take advantage of our digital proofing system, with unlimited revisions, and fast shipping all free of charge.  You can also call our office at 1-800-953-3607 to speak with a one of our courteous coin experts.

The Benefit of Ordering a Pre-Production Sample of Your Custom Challenge Coin

April 12th, 2011

In most situations, once we have received a customer’s approval on the digital proof of a challenge coin design, we start production and fulfill the coin order immediately.  However, there are times when a customer would like get a hands on look and feel for the challenge coin before we manufacture the entire quantity.  In cases like these the customer receives at what we call a pre-production sample.

A Picture is Worth a 1,000 Words, but a Sample…

A pre-production sample is a physical custom challenge coin with the customer’s exact design. Having a physical sample not only helps customers know exactly how their coins will look and feel, but will also reveal aspects the customer might consider changing, but would not have otherwise noticed.

For example, a customer needs 500 customized challenge coins as keepsakes for an event and thinks that 2” is the good size.  As a safeguard, the customer requests a pre-production sample.  Upon receipt of the sample, the customer decides that 2” is too large of a coin and changes the coin size on the order.

Signature Coins charges a nominal fee for our pre-production samples.  The prices vary depending on the size of the coin. Some customers have 3D molds, etc., that would add to the pre-production sample’s cost. Our standard challenge coin pre-production sample costs are as follows:

  • A 1.5 inch pre-production sample is $186.00
  • A 1.75 inch pre-production sample is $200.00
  • A 2 inch pre-production sample is $236.00

You Can’t Put a Price on Satisfaction

The cost of the sample is non-refundable, but allows the customer to see the actual coin prior to going into to full production. The customer in the example above ends up saving himself a great amount of disappointment and money, even though pre-production sample come with a cost. Not to mention, you can’t put a price on satisfaction!

Signature Coins is committed to delivering high quality, fully customized and unique challenge coins for any and every occasion. Offering pre-production samples is just another way in which we ensure our customers are 100% satisfied.

For more information, to share your ideas and suggestions or place a custom challenge coin order, contact our office at 1-800-953-3607 or by emailing

How to Get Your Quality Custom Challenge Coins Faster

April 5th, 2011

It is not uncommon for customers to request that we complete a challenge coin order faster than our guaranteed delivery time of 14 days or less.  Signature Coins has no problem fulfilling requests like this because it is possible, on an occasion, to have coins manufactured in less time.

Quality Coins in Less Time

If your main goal is to have great looking high quality custom product on hand to distribute at meetings, ceremonies, or other functions, we have one industry trick that may help speed up your production time. Keep in mind, however, that certain sacrifices will have to be made in order to get your challenge coins that much faster.

To help speed up and simplify the production process, we often suggest eliminating the use of colors in your challenge coin design. What this means is your challenge coin will have a finish that consists entirely of the metal plating you choose.

All Metal Coins Are Quite Popular

Though this may seem to be a conservative and somewhat uninteresting design idea for your keepsake challenge coin, we can assure you that it is not. As a matter of fact, they have become very popular because of the following reasons:

  • Choosing no colors reduces production time
  • Coins without color fills cost less
  • The option of taking full advantage of antique plating
  • Coins are given a classic and traditional look
  • Due to the reduced production time, you may receive coins faster

Removing the color fills option from your challenge coin actually creates opportunities to use some of our other design options, like antique plating.

Our antique finishes are available in gold, silver and copper. These very classy and attention getting design choices are a great replacement to coloring your challenge coin. With the antiquing option, the overall background is stressed to make the coin appear older while the text and graphics stand out giving the coin a deeper appearance

Now that you know creating an all metal challenge coin is not an unreasonable compromise we hope you consider them the next time you need to put a rush on your customized coins.

Contact one of our knowledgeable representatives at to find out more ways to save time and money on your custom coin order. Or, call us at 1-800-953-3607 the next time you need challenge coins and need them fast.

What is the Average Weight of Your Standard Size Custom Challenge Coins?

February 8th, 2011

Almost as often as we are asked to explain the difference in coin sizes, customers seek to know how much coins weigh. There are several reasons for this. If the challenge coin is going to be mailed as gift, its weight will affect the cost of shipping. If the custom coin is being used as flip coin, which is a popular sport, how easily the coin can be flipped is affected by its weight as well. Not to mention, heavier coins are typically perceived as being more valuable. Regardless of the reason behind it, knowing the correct coin weight has become an important part of many challenge coin orders.

Standard Size and Weight Variance

We cannot accurately explain challenge coin weight without mentioning challenge coin size, in particular standard challenge coin sizes. Our most commonly ordered coin size are 1.5, 1.75, and 2 inches. Challenge coins made larger than 2”, such as a 4.5” coin, are too large to carry around, but make remarkable show pieces or car badges.

The weight of our challenge coins are measured in ounces. The smallest circular coin, at 1.5”, weighs about 1 oz. The next size, the 1.75” coin, is approximately 1.4 oz. Finally, the 2 inch coin fluctuates between 1.5 and 1.6 oz. Now that you are familiar with the standard weight of circular challenge coins, we will explore a couple of the design options that can affect it.

The Skinny on Customization Options

Cut-out is a very popular customization option that adds character and authenticity to the challenge coin design. Just as its name suggests, certain parts of the coin are completely removed which creates open spaces within the design details. Naturally, with a portion of the coin taken out, this option gives the challenge coin a lighter weight.

However, adding thickness to a challenge coin will make it heavier. A standard size challenge coin, like the coins listed above, is usually 3mm thick. When you request to have your coins made any thicker than that, their weight increases also.

We are happy to address and thoroughly answer any questions regarding custom challenge coins. Though coin size is common question, we realize that weight also plays a big part in the purchase of challenge coins for a few reasons. Standard circular challenge coins range from 1.5 to 2 inches and from 1 to 1.6 ounces respectively. Also, remember that design options you choose can decrease or increase the coins weight.

Contact Signature Coins today to learn more about custom challenge coin sizes, weight and personalization options. Give us a call at 1-800-953-3607 or email one of our representatives at

Creating Your Own Customized Series of Military Challenge Coins

January 27th, 2011

The respected and rich history of challenge coins has made them a must have among numerous armed forces members and supporters. Customizing them to show one’s pride, relay important information, pay tribute to special people and of course “presenting the challenge” at get-togethers are the most common uses.

Merging Uniformity with Honors

However, when we talk about displaying pride and affiliation, your challenge coin design must not only speak volumes but also be able to leave a legacy behind.  This is why we suggest making your own series of custom challenge coins.

Honoring different battalions or units within a main military branch is easy using theme challenge coins.  With a themed coin, you can a high level uniformity and still single out and identify the smaller groups from within the branch. All of your challenge coins will have a similar primary coin design with small distinctions made for each specific unit.

Subtle Differences in the Design

Our designers can create an authentic or incorporate your own design ideas for the coin.  Once this is done, you will choose how to differentiate each sub-group from our wide assortment of add options.  Some the options most commonly used to achieve this goal are:

  • Multiple Plating- Rather than fashioning coins strictly in gold or silver, you can have them made in antique gold, silver and copper. You can utilize this option in a single coin order as well.
  • Dual Plating – If you really want all of your coins to be finished in the same metal, you can take advantage of our dual plating option.  This allows, for instance, a gold coin to be edged in silver or vice versa.
  • Text/Mottos – Including the unit’s name and well-known motto will make it obvious whom the coin was designed for.  This is an effective and somewhat subtle way of maintaining your theme and honoring each group.

The value of custom challenge coins is always the same whether you are honoring a single person or an entire group. Creating coins that have a theme of their own and including minor distinctions will add to their value both in the eyes of their recipients and anyone else that gets the opportunity to see them.

The design specialists at Signature Coins are waiting to hear you ideas.  Contact one of them today at or by calling 1-800-953-3607 and let them make your vision a reality.

Using Icons and Logos on Your Custom Challenge Coins

December 15th, 2010

The old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, is a great reminder of how much using images can help to get a message across.  Using imagery, icons, and logos on custom challenge coins can condense and greatly impact your message.  Taking advantage of this option also yields a clean and creative challenge coin that gives your organization, company or unit direct exposure.

Attention Grabbing Designs are Easily Recalled

What is even more beneficial about using logos and icons on challenge coins is that you can tweak preexisting images to create a memorable backdrop.  Adding your own personal touch to artwork from famous album or book covers is an appealing way to get people’s attention.

For example, “Moby-Dick”, also known as “The Whale”, is a great American novel and a treasure of the literature world that inspired the artwork for the coin you see here.  The ferocious image of a huge white whale tearing through the ocean’s surface is one that will be easily remembered. The appearance of a boat carrying several defenseless travelers as they face their antagonist triggers a “fight or flee” response.

Making Your Point Using Less Words

We have no problem saying that sometimes less really is more. Using key words instead of full mission statements creates more room for artwork and helps them stand out.  Words like Excellence, Professionalism, and Honor give challenge coins a clear meaning without interrupting the flow their graphical designs.  Looking at the same customized coin example, you can see that placing short mottos or catch phrases along the edge of your coin works just as well.

Taking Coin Sizes for Granted

Using the correct sized coin is always the best option for designs that include several logos. There are often times when custom challenge coins are created using all the logos from each group within a large unit or task force.  In situations like this you do not want size to become an issue.  We suggest ordering coins that are 2 inches or larger instead of the typical 1.5” and 1.75” sizes.

Signature Coins has an unlimited number of design options and skilled graphic artists available to help you design your custom challenge coins. Contact us at to start your order.  Or, give us a call at 1-800-953-3607 to speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives.