Challenge coins or more popularly known as military coins have been present for decades. First used during World War 1 to recognize the service and membership of soldiers and military personnel, it is now used by other organizations and even business companies to bear the emblem and insignia of the organization.
Military coins are used as medallions or awards. It is used to acknowledge the achievements and accomplishments of a member of a certain organization. Some military coins bear the symbol of the Navy Cross or Medal of Honor.
Military coins can be customized. It can be made from different materials such as metal, copper, brass, nickel, silver or gold. Some challenge coins are also designed to have an antique or polished finished. Some have diamond edges, engravings, 3D designs and cut outs. It all depends on what the customer wants for the challenge coins.
When ordering customized challenge coins, the first step is coming up with the design. The customer can decide the color and finish of the coin. Will it have an engraved emblem or an embossed symbol? Challenge coins also come in different shapes such as round coins, square coins, star shaped, dog tags or polygon shape.
After that, other details such as the size and type of metal to be used are included in the design plan. Even minor details such as cut out shapes and colors of the engravings are also considered.
In some cases, the customers make the design sketch themselves. Some customers on the other hand, prefer to have the design made by the graphic artist where they will order the challenge coins. But no matter the case, once the design sketch is finished, it is transferred to the coin makers to prepare for the molding and stamping.
The design is transformed into a stamp or engraver. This will be used to transfer the design to the coin. Afterwards, the coin is created by melting the metal material and pouring it to the molds of the required size and shape.
While the coin is still soft and cooling, the design is stamped or engraved into place. Other details such as the color are added by painting the coin manually. Then, it is cleaned and polished. The challenge coins are sent over to quality control to double check if there are any damages or problems in the coins. If none is found, the challenge coins are packed and delivered to the customer.
However, even if the customized challenge coins are made with great care and high quality materials, proper care and maintenance is needed to preserve the coins’ quality.When wearing or using the challenge coins, make sure to avoid contact with water. Water and other liquids could damage the coins by making it prone to discoloration and rusting; this is especially the case in metal challenge coins.
Cleaning the challenge coins depend on the type of material used to make it. Challenge coins made from gold, silver, brass, nickel, copper and metal are cleaned using different materials and methods.
For instance, brass coins can only be cleaned using jewelry polishing cloth or polishing cream. Silver and gold coins can be cleaned using silver or gold polishers. But for all types of challenge coins, it is important to use a soft polishing cloth to remove the dirt. Be gentle in rubbing and cleaning the coins. Avoid using brushes when cleaning the coins to avoid scratching the coin’s surface.
Customized challenge coins are very affordable and durable. As long as it is properly taken care of, people from different age groups can enjoy it for generations and years to come.