Monthly Archives: November 2011

Even Hollywood Likes Challenge Coins

Joe Mantegna Coin

We all know the popularity of custom challenge coins has literally exploded far from being used in the military, and those new reaches include Hollywood and well-known Stars. Joe Mantegna, Star of the CBS hit show “CRIMINAL MINDS” ordered personalized coins for distribution after years of receiving them from US troops during “Thank You” visits. He now intends to return the gesture and show his appreciation for their service.

Joe Mantegna’s coins feature his trademark character image with cigar in high polished gold finish. The other side of his coin depicts his Hollywood Star, which was presented on April 29, 2011 and was the 2,438th one like it to adorn the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Tony Award winning actor dedicated this accomplishment to the men and women in uniform.

Other Hollywood stars are bound to follow suit as appreciation for the Armed Forces and other notable causes are always a topic of gratitude among A-List celebrities.

Custom Coins With Sequential Numbering

Sometimes having a custom challenge coin design isn’t enough – why not add numbering to your order? Numbering your custom challenge coins adds exclusivity to your group at a small cost.

Challenge Coins with Sequential Numbering

Greg Rudolph ordered challenge coins for his archery club last week, and with the assistance of our expert coin designers, now presents each qualifying member his or her own numbered challenge coins.

Numbered Challenge Coins Pricing

Mr. Rudolph’s archery program requires each member to demonstrate a certain skill set in field archery over a year long period. After that year, members of his club that show exemplary archery skills are awarded with their very own SSAC Challenge Coins, including a unique number stamped into the face.

SSAC members can identify with future master archers through their challenge coins, and now identify themselves by the order number on each coin. The lower the number, the more senior the member.

Sequential numbering on personalized coins is nothing new, but it can add a unique identifier for your club or organization as it grows. Talk to the designers on staff today about numbering your custom coins. We can add numbering to either side, or the edge…the choice is up to you.

Challenge Coins Packaged Perfectly

Your military unit or corporate group has likely spent a significant amount of time working with a designer for your order of challenge coins. The artwork is exactly how you want it; you have selected a plating choice for your challenge coins that accents your design, and have even added sequential numbering to your coins. You are now prepared to take delivery of your coins, or are you?

If your military unit or organization is planning a formal presentation of coins, you may want to consider one of several unique options. You can order your custom coins delivered in the following:

-Velvet Challenge Coin Cases
-Clear Plastic Coin Cases
-Clear Plastic Coin Capsules
-Clear PVC Challenge Coins Envelope with Personalized message

Coin Presentation Options

Velvet cases are the most elaborate way to present your custom challenge coins to your troops during a ceremony. Each recipient will be proud to display their challenge coins in the home or office with these cases. Similar to the velvet boxes you see at the jewelry store, our cases are manufactured to fit your challenge coins perfectly.

Clear plastic challenge coins cases are a more economical way to protect and display your challenge coins. Each case comes with a clear top and black base section that allows the coin to be viewed while inside the case. Inside, a special velour insert is cut to shape and surrounds each challenge coin.

Most popular with challenge coins collectors are the clear coin capsules. These capsules are only slightly larger than each challenge coin and “snap” together around the coins. The beauty of each coin capsule is that you can still carry your challenge coins in your pocket with protection from scratching or other abuse.

Standard PVC envelopes are included with every order of challenge coins at no extra charge. Some groups like to have custom card stock printed and inserted into each PVC envelope to accompany the challenge coins. Such card stock can mark an event, date, accomplishment, logo or any combination you desire.

Challenge Coins Add Photo Flare

Most challenge coins are manufactured in a way that “stamps” your design into a round or custom shape. This process creates raised metal areas that outline the design elements and allow for an area to hold enamel color fills. Once the color is added to the challenge coins, the finished product will display all the colors used separated by those raised metal lines.

But what if your order of challenge coins requires a picture or design element that uses color gradients or fades? The solution would be an offset printed insert to one or both sides of your challenge coins.

Coins With Photo InsertsAn offset printed insert allows intricate detail to be added to a challenge coin design that is not allowable with the traditional metal stamping methods. As you can imagine, this option opens up a myriad of possibilities to make your order of challenge coins truly unique.

Each printed section of the challenge coin is carefully adhered to the face of metal surface in your desired location. The printed portion is then coated with a protective epoxy coating for a smooth, polished look.

Who takes advantage of such a unique option on their custom coins? Well,ask the 2012 graduating class of Freehold Preparatory School. With the school’s insignia manufactured in traditional form on the front side of the challenge coin, the obverse side of the challenge coin displayed the entire 113 student class photograph on the school’s front lawn.

“This was truly an amazing coin, and unlike any we had made in the past.” Principal Thomas McGuffey has a collection of challenge coins in his office from previous years, but explained that the 2012 coin would mark the change in the way future coins were ordered. “I only wish we had known about this type of challenge coin sooner – previous graduating classes will certainly be envious.”

Freehold Preparatory is not the first to use this unique manufacturing method for their challenge coins, and won’t be the last. Military units, corporations, and local clubs have also discovered the versatility of this option.

military challenge coins

As technology evolves, it appears that custom challenge coins will not be left in the dark. One can only wonder what the next breakthrough design technique will be in the wonderful world of challenge coins.

Edge Options With Challenge Coins

Reed EdgeCustom challenge coins can be manufactured with several different types of edging finishes to give your custom coins that unique and authentic look.

For example, take a look at a US Quarter- the reed edging you see can easily be added to your military challenge coins design for a nominal fee. As opposed to no edge finish, your custom challenge coins with such edging draw increased appeal and perceived value.

Challenge Coin Edge Options

Edge Options for Military Challenge Coins
Fire EMS Custom Coins

Other edges are available as well on your coins, as well as custom designed edges. Common additions to coin orders include the rope edge, diamond cut edge, or bevel edge. These types of edges are visible from either side, or face, of the challenge coin and add dimension to your design.

Pricing for such edging will range from no charge edges to .70 cents per coin for both sides, or .35 cents for a single side. The most popular free edging is called the rope edge, which is typically seen on many military coins. However, don’t let that stop you from adding your own choice of edging to your challenge coin design.

View examples of our edging on our website and learn how to create your very own challenge coins today. We truly enjoy working with the detail oriented members of our Military and provide services to all branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.

Custom Challenge Coins: The Symbol of Strength and Power

Challenge coins are personalized coins that show the seal/message/logo of a particular team that members of the group typically carry with them. These coins are presented to verify or signify one’s membership. Many military groups and private parties collect and trade such coins as well.

People have different hobbies that they indulge in. Some like painting, taking photographs, work on handicrafts, bake, and so many more. Then there are those who are into collecting various items such as stamps, antiques, and custom challenge coins. In theory, challenge coins are no longer historical at present, being that they can already be created bearing a preferred design imprinted on it. This is why they are referred to as custom challenge coins. Nevertheless, custom challenge coins can still be manufactured in such a way that they epitomize their past history.

Military Challenge Coins

It has been customary for US military members to carry a special kind of coin, one that symbolizes the identity of their own units, and their solidarity. In the midst of battle where brave soldiers form powerful bonds of brotherhood with other members of their unit, custom challenge coins are expressly minted, each one carrying valued symbols and maxims. These military challenge coins are able to capture the spirit of a serviceman’s affiliation and his strong pride in being a member of a special unit. They hold a vital place in today’s military life and are respected by every troop in all the branches of military service.

CWW Military Challenge Coin

The rich coin history goes back to the earliest of conflicts in American history, during the time that the American forces were sent to far distant places of the world to ensure the freedom of the country. In the Civil War, soldiers customarily went to war carrying a coin in their pocket. These coins were kept long after battle to serve as a permanent reminder of the experiences during the war.

Military coins became a lot more popular at the run of the new Millennium. The source of inspiration for challenge coins was the Special Forces, who made coins as an expression of their distinct identity, as well as the strong union they had among themselves. This motivated other units to create their own distinct coin that would develop comradeship and serve as a representation of their pride in being one of the select few of an elite unit.

The challenge coin is not just a simple token. In today’s world, army challenge coins are tangible objects that serve as a significant reminder that American soldiers, no matter what positions they may hold, that they can truly stand proud. They are used by Commanders as instant awards, and it is not a rare thing that superior military leaders would be proudly giving these coins to dignitaries as well as other notable personages. Custom challenge coins have always been carried. Spot checks on coins are still very much done in the military, with several penalties meted out to those who do not carry them.

A Look Back

Challenge coins are considered to be items that are versatile, unforgettable, and incredibly attractive. Dating back to the 1930s, these wonderful coins were constantly utilized to help establish unity, for promoting camaraderie, reinforcing alliances, and supporting accomplishments and victories. For close to a hundred years now, members of the military have come up with custom unit coins, using them for increasing awareness and raising funds, keeping the public in the know about relevant issues, and bestowing honor on outstanding personnel of units within the Army, the Marines, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Coast Guard.

AF ROTCSuch coins are, at present, no longer an American Military Forces exclusive item. They are very popular in schools, sports teams, business establishments, and various organizations. Because they are very personalized, custom challenge coins are the perfect tools for marketing purposes as well as motivations for people who opt to make use of them for whatever function they serve. They are a symbol of courage and strength, and an inspiration for fellowship and camaraderie.

Uses of Custom Challenge Coins

Challenge coins are not just for challenging. They can also be given as awards for special service beyond the call of duty, or for outstanding achievements in the service. What these challenge coins do is really boost morale. The “Bull Dog” is a challenge coin popularly known among the US Air Force personnel, exclusively presented to the enlisted tail gunners of an iconic combat airplane. It was given to gunners when they graduated from technical training in the Air Force and symbolized their admission to the specialized group. It symbolized courage and strength, represented by the official mascot of the gunners, the Bulldog. Because this particular position was terminated back in 1991, this particular challenge coin is now a rarity. It was also presented to leaders and commanders who displayed the bulldog spirit, referred to as the elite.

There are a number of collectors who purchase these challenge coins for what they call the coin’s numismatic value. When these challenge coins are presented as awards for accomplishments, they are passed on through a handshake, wherein an explanation is given for why a coin is awarded.

How Valuable Are Custom Challenge Coins?

Personalized challenge coins are fairly economical to design as well as to produce. They are manufactured through two types of processes, die struck bronze and zinc alloy. Castings from zinc alloy are basically cheaper with a quality that is quite good. However, when this type of coin is placed inside the pocket, the patina has a tendency to fade and the base metal is exposed. Die struck bronze on the other hand is of high quality, although this type does cost more. Challenge coins that represent some elite military units go for $50-120 each, depending on the process of production, design, enamels, number of coins made initially, etc.

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