Challenge Coins Enter The Sports Arena

The concept of memorabilia is nothing new, and its desirability has existed as long as fans of teams and sports have wanted a small piece of the teams they support. Challenge coins are a relatively new form of memorabilia, at least in the sports world. They originated in the military as a means of building unit cohesion and camaraderie, but have since moved beyond their military background and out into the civilian world. Sports teams have several uses for challenge coins and are helping to propel their burgeoning popularity as collectors’ items.

North High School Challenge CoinsThe high customization level of challenge coins makes them desirable collectors’ items for players and fans alike. Since challenge coins are affordable and easy to customize, teams can make different designs so that people will want to trade coins. Teammates can trade coins within a team, especially if each coin is personalized to identify an individual person or number. Fans can exchange challenge coins with one another so they can collect coins from the best years and the most important events. People who love a particular sport in general can exchange challenge coins with other collectors in order to assemble a collection featuring all teams.

One of the biggest draws of challenge coins is the ability to customize each coin on an individual letter within an order. Coaches will sometimes order challenge coins with names and jersey numbers to hand out to players in order to motivate them for the upcoming season or congratulate them for a job well done at the end of a season. These coins might even be handed out during an awards ceremony in which each coin is minted to reflect individual achievements and superlatives. Combining the highly personal aspect of a name and jersey number with a more general team mascot or symbol creates a memorable and valued piece of team memorabilia that will be treasured beyond season’s end.

Challenge coins are also good for fundraising. An attractively designed coin will be desired by fans of a team, particularly if the fans are regular game attendees. These coins can be sold at and between games in order to raise money to supplement traveling expenses, equipment costs, and league dues that teams may have to pay in order to play. Challenge coins are durable and long lasting, giving them added appeal to fans who want to purchase a piece of sports memorabilia that will not break or wear shortly after purchase.

Personalized coins can also be used as environmentally friendly admittance tokens. Rather than wasting paper on printed tickets, teams can pass out reusable challenge coins instead. Game attendees simply hand the challenge coin to the admittance gate attendant and the coins will be redistributed upon purchase for the next upcoming game. Challenge coins can also be used for promoting special team deals and packages. An announcer tells game attendees that those in possession of a team challenge coin all get a free soda at the concession stand and the fans simply show their coins to the vendor to gain their prizes. Teams can draw in new fans and game attendees by showing themselves to be environmentally conscious and willing to try unique, eye-catching solutions to modern problems.

More and more important gaming events are being started by a flip of a challenge coin. It is not uncommon to hear an official publicly state that the coin that they are flipping to determine possession has one school’s logo on one side and the other school’s logo on the reverse side. They have become collectors’ items by those who want a souvenir from that particular season or game.

Challenge coins make excellent gifts for those who want to reward team players for hard work and good play as well as for fans of teams that want a long-lasting souvenir of a special occasion for their teams. They can be used to raise both team spirit as well as money for team supplies and can be a great means of bringing a fan base together. These coins can also be traded to fans and players of other teams in order to show good sportsmanship and to assemble league and division coin collections. Those with military backgrounds will also appreciate receiving a challenge coin because they will be reminded of teamwork and unity from their times of service. The distribution of challenge coins is ever growing in popularity, so teams would be wise to get in on this newer form of promoting the team’s image now so that they will be seen as forward thinking and relevant to the modern sports fan.

Challenge Coins Limited has designers available to make your next sporting event an even more cherished event – call us at 1-800-818-3229 to see how we can adapt your team logo into the coin making process.



Epoxy Dome Options for Coins

Challenge coins can represent some very diverse groups across many different walks of life and professions. Some coins have military insignia, corporate logos, sports team icons, or represent future and past events. No matter what the purpose is of your custom coin, each can be personalized to your needs.

Have you ever seen a coin with a clear coating over one or both sides? This is called an epoxy dome and is used in the production of challenge coins to appeal to those customers who desire a smooth glassy finish to their coins.

Navy Challenge Coin with Epoxy FinishWhile most people enjoy the textured sides of challenge coins caused by the stamping of the design into the blank, there are those customers who opt for an epoxy finish. In our experience, customers who simply display their challenge coins will have only one side of the coin finished with epoxy. The one-sided finish allows the challenge coins to be placed on a table or desk and remain sturdy. The epoxy finish on each challenge coin is really bubble shaped – not perfectly flat. So, if you set your challenge coin on a flat surface, it will tend to wobble if placed on the epoxy finish side. Conversely, those who intend on carrying the challenge coins in their pocket will choose double sided epoxy for their challenge coins. In either situation, the epoxy dome offers a protective glossy finish that will accent your custom designed coins. This extra step adds 2 days to our production process.

Designing custom coins is an important process to making sure our customers are pleased with the finished product. We are often presented with only rough ideas from customers who would like to place an order. With these ideas, our challenge coins designers incorporate our factory manufacturing standards to make sure the finished coins match each design proof as close as possible.

Challenge coins, due to their size, can be made with great detail. Also, the larger the challenge coins are, the more detail that can be added. Most challenge coins are 1.75″ diameter with some coins exceeding 2.5″ or more depending on the customer’s needs. You are not limited to certain shapes or sizes – we have produced some rather unusual and distinct coins for troops and private companies all over the world.

Military challenge coins often use highly detailed crests and unit insignia, while corporate, civic and sports oriented challenge coins are typically not as detailed. With this in mind, we find that our military coins are usually ordered at 1.625″ and above, while most others remain at around 1.5″.

Regardless of your design requirements, our designers can apply your needs to the perfect size order of challenge coins. For examples of different size coins, we invite you to visit our website’s coin gallery. There you will find many different coins of various sizes and detail. If you are undecided about what size best suits your application, we’d be more than happy to recommend a solution for you. Call us today for more information at 1-800-818-3229.



Custom Coins Becoming The “New” Business Card

The boring business card might soon be completely replaced by custom coins as the primary method of exchanging contact information between companies and potential clients. This might sound strange, but it makes sense when one considers it. In business, the goal is often to stand out from competitors in one way or another. Businesses customize everything from marketing campaigns to communication channels in an effort to stand out and draw more business. The business card is one such example of people in business stand out from one another. This may not be the case for much longer.

Twin State Ford Dealers Custom CoinsThe traditional business card actually has two purposes. On the surface, its main function is to provide contact information to potential clients or partners. It’s compact, fits in a wallet and has all of the vital information necessary to recall a person or company later on. The second purpose that the business card serves is to distinguish an individual or business. Cards usually include a logo and some form of color scheme, no matter how minimal. The idea is for it to be eye catching, so that when a person has cards from multiple clients, the most distinctive one will stand out. It increases business.

Well, custom challenge coins can and do fill both of these needs. In terms of uniqueness, they surpass the business card. Suppose a person interacts with twenty people all seeking his business and receives business cards from nineteen and a coin from one. At the end of the day, he might not remember every individual person he spoke with. He will, however, remember the person who gave him a coin in lieu of a traditional business card. He will have the coin stored somewhere separate from the nineteen cards he received, and will have to do something with it. Thus, the coin works as a constant reminder of the business or individual who gave it to him.

Custom coins also have a way of being much more unique in appearance than a typical card. Most business cards are fairly homogenous. They show a name, a phone number, an email address and perhaps a logo or title. Most people will glance at them as they receive them and put them away, but they won’t look at them. If the card is from a person representing a business, there’s a good chance they won’t even remember the company’s name.

This problem is done away with when a custom challenge coin is used in place of a card. People aren’t accustomed to receiving coins, and the information on them will always vary. They’ll look over a coin on both sides and see what’s on it. Because of these extra few seconds that they spend looking at a coin as opposed to a card, they’re much more likely to remember the name of the company or person, along with the products or services being offered. Since custom coins are nowhere near as formulaic as business cards, they do away with the reflex of glancing at a card and putting it away and force the individual to digest the information that’s on it.

Thanks to the overall uniqueness of custom challenge coins, they fill the role of a business card better than a business card. They’re an effective marketing tool that will cause anyone receiving a coin to think about the company just a little bit more. Having that extra share of a person’s mind might be the difference between getting a call back and never hearing from a person again. Couple in the fact that coins are naturally more aesthetically pleasing and less plain than a business card, and it’s easy to understand why custom coins are taking over.



Custom Challenge Coins Going Global

What was once a tradition only among the US military has now become a global collectible. Custom challenge coins have become the mark of unity and membership around the world, and are becoming even more popular every day.

Australian FlagWe shipped an order of 5600 custom challenge coins to the Australian Defense Forces last month whose popularity spread like wildfire among the ranks. Through international dealings, friends of the ADF understood the meaning of unity and pride represented by such challenge coins and ordered their own set.

As you can imagine, the excitement caused by the challenge coins spread to other organizations “down under” and beyond. The end result was several orders of unique military coins being shipped to the far side of the globe to represent other units.

Challenge coins are no longer a tradition exclusive to the United States. Foreign Military Units, Governmental Agencies, Civic Groups and Sports teams alike are discovering the popularity of challenge coins and creating their own custom coins every day.

Remember that all we need is your idea and we can take it from there in the development of your challenge coins, or if you already have your design on paper – great! Having your challenge coins design already composed will speed up the process considerably.

Let us help your organization create its own challenge coin by getting your free challenge coins quote today.



Tips for Designing & Ordering Your Challenge Coins

Our graphics department is the core of what we do – designing and manufacturing great looking coins. We try our very best to get your coin design back to you as fast as possible. There are some things you can do to prepare our graphics staff so that your design shows up even quicker.

Images: Our challenge coin quote form allows for the upload of two images; one for the front of your coin, and one for the back. Try to make sure you send us the largest possible images so that we may extract the most detail from the image into your challenge coin design. If you have your artwork pre-drawn in vector or PDF format, this will greatly speed up the process. Extremely complicated challenge coins sometimes take up to 5 hours to compose (especially those with 3D requests). Vector artwork will drastically reduce this time.

3D: Many customers wish to have one or more elements of their custom coins manufactured using a 3D process. For this to be most successful, your image must be high resolution. Our 3D technique is unique to us – no other company renders 3D coins like we do, and while the process is very time consuming on our end, the end result is fantastic. Costs for advanced 3D imagery range from $100 per side and up.

An example of our 3D capability is below:
Tips for Ordering Custom Coins

Worth The Wait: An average design submitted to us for proofing takes about 2.5 hours of work from our graphics department. A challenge coin with 3D included takes up to 4 or more hours. With the amount of requests we receive every day from customers, we may not be the fastest to get your custom design back, but we are willing to bet our artwork is superior. If you are in a rush, please indicate this on your request submission, or give us a call, and we can prioritize your project accordingly. You may want to read “Superior Challenge Coins Start With Great Artwork” for even more information.

Bigger Really Can Be Better: If you are looking to get the absolute most detail possible into your coin, consider some of the larger sizes. We are often asked to cram an enormous amount of detail into a 1.50” coin. Although we usually come up with a solution by simplifying certain details, in the end most customers are much more satisfied if the coin has ALL of what they wanted to see. There are times when a coin has so many detailed “parts” to it, that a larger coin is warranted. For example, military ratings combined with one or more 3D images and/or seals with small wording. If in doubt, you can leave it up to us and we will make your custom coin artwork at the smallest possible size to accurately fit your wishes.

Options and Delivery: Need your coins fast? Here are a few examples of options that will slow the delivery of your coins: epoxy, silk screening, edge engraving or numbering, complicated color schemes, dual plating, specialty edging, hard enamel challenge coins and offset printed images.

As an illustration, the challenge coin on the left will deliver much quicker than the coin on the right. This is due to the many colors and small spaces on the right hand coin that must be hand filled at our factory.

Coin Delivery Comparison



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.



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