Challenge Coins – Breaking the Mold
Challenge coins were always meant to show belonging and camaraderie. The group they belong to is restricted, limited, and unique. For those whose group is beyond the pale, more special than special delivery, and even more extraordinary than the Fantastic Four, challenge coins can be made in nearly any shape you can imagine.
Challenge coins are mostly 1.56 ” in diameter and 3 mm thick. Two other round diameters, 1.75″ and 2″, are common as well. Custom challenge coins in individual shapes and sizes can be created from a design or designed from a drawing or patch.
There are some shapes that are more conventional than a totally custom challenge coin. Shields are popular, as are various crosses, like the Iron Cross or Maltese Cross. Military challenge coins have been made in the shape of stars, crests, and wings. Police or firefighter challenge coins might be shaped like a sheriff’s badge, a seven-pointed star, a pentagon, or any of the military designs. Motorcycle clubs may have challenge coins shaped like the Harley Davidson wings, or perhaps a flying eagle, or a skull and crossbones. The design is only limited by imagination and budget.
The metal used in the coin and the thickness of the coin will affect the price considerably, but using a precious metal will give the challenge coin more value, even to non-members of the group. Gold is gold, and if the coin is solid or plated gold, it has a value to anyone. Silver is a very nice precious metal whose value is continuously climbing. Perhaps a silver cross that is 5 mm thick is more your speed. Bronze is the least expensive of the precious metals normally used for challenge coins. It’s pretty and durable as well.
Custom coins have options—lots and lots of options. They can be sandblasted for extra gloss or laser engraved for greater detail. They can be sequentially numbered to increase their value, verifying their authenticity and limited release. Parts of the design can be cut out or raised. Designs can be 3-D or 5 color. Silver is available in .999 purity; gold is available in one-ounce 24K coins.
Custom challenge coins are the perfect choice for special members of an uncommon group. They can be as unique as the groups they represent. They can be diverse in material make-up and thickness. Custom coins can have innumerable shapes and variations for sequential events, like New Year’s Eve 2010, 2011, and likewise.