Challenge coins or military coins are small coins or medallions used to bear the emblem or symbol of a certain organization such as the military, the police force and fire truck department. Having caught the public’s eye, it is now used by other clubs and companies from all over the world.
Military coins are originally intended to commemorate and recognize the soldier’s service and membership in the military. It was first used in World War. Aside from symbolizing one’s membership, it is also looked upon as a unifying force and symbol of brotherhood and camaraderie.
Military coins are also used to acknowledge one’s achievements. In the military challenge coins are used to award the soldier along with the ribbons and medals such as the Navy Cross, Medal of Honor, Air Force Cross and Coast Guard Cross.
Aside from that, military coins are also used to signify and symbolize one’s position in the organization. Members also collect challenge coins as souvenirs in participating in the organization. From time to time, it is used as a trading item with other organization.
Challenge coins come in different types, depending on the material used to make it and its design. Some challenge coins come with cut out designs, engraved or embossed designs. Some challenge coins are made out of gold, silver, nickel, brass, copper and metal. Customers can also choose what kind of finish the challenge coins will have. Some want it to have a polished or glazed look while others opt for a more antique feel.
But no matter what type of customized challenge coin the customer wants, the process in making the custom challenge coins are very similar. The process is usually composed of the design stage, making the engraver or stamp, molding the coin, transferring the design and quality control.
For customized challenge coins, the customer usually sends in a finished sketch or image of the coin’s design. The customer also includes other specifications such as the size and shape of the coin. Some customers like round shaped coins, while other customers prefer a unique shape such as star shape, polygon coin or square coin. This is also where the customers choose what material will be used in making the coin and what type of finish it will have.
However, there are customers who request the store’s graphic artist to make the design for them. The customer is asked to explain how he or she wants to the coin to look like and the graphic artist makes the sketch or image. Once it is approved, the finished design is transferred to the stamp makers.
The stamp makers will transform the sketched design into an actual engraver or molder. This will be used to create the engravings and design of the challenge coins.After making the stamp or engraver, making the coin follows. The metal chosen by the customer is melted and poured into the molds. While it is cooling, the design is stamped or engraved into the coin.
Afterward, the coins are cleaned and polished. Finishing touches such as adding or coating the coin with colors also follow.Then, the coins are transferred to the quality control where it will be checked for damages and rejects. All of the coins that pass the quality control are packed and delivered to the customers.
Taking care of custom challenge coins is also important. This will help preserve the coins’ quality. When properly cleaned and maintained, challenge coins last for years and can be enjoyed for generations. Challenge coins should be stored in special boxes or cabinets with fabric lining and a glass cover. This will prevent scratches and allow other people to look at the challenge coins.