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  • Emily Beresford

How Challenge Coins are Made

Pantone Color Wheel and design drawings.

The Ins & Outs of Making Challenge Coins

Challenge coins are a proud tradition in the military and first responder communities. These unique coins are often given as rewards or tokens of appreciation, and each one has a special history and meaning.

But how are challenge coins made, and what goes into creating a truly unique design? In this blog post, we'll take a look at the ins and outs of challenge coin production. So if you're curious about how these unique coins are created, Stay Tuned!

How Challenge Coins Are Made - 101

Challenge coins are made using a variety of methods, depending on the design and quantity required.

Die Struck Challenge Coins

One fabrication method for custom challenge coins is the die struck process. It is more expensive than die-cast due to the manufacturing method. The die-struck manufacturing process starts by taking a metal blank and stamping it with a design.

This stamping press uses two dies, one to cut the coin’s design into the metal disc and the other to strike the coin’s edge. The dies are mounted on a shaft that is lowered between two large plates. When the shaft turns, the top die cuts into the metal disc while the bottom dies to

strike the coin’s edge.

This fabrication process leaves a raised image that can be enameled or left as is. As with all of the manufacturing styles, die-struck challenge coins can be customized with any design, shape, text, or logo.

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Die Cast Challenge Coins

The most common and popular method for manufacturing custom challenge coins is the die-cast method. It is the most cost-effective fabrication process and is an efficient way to create high-quality challenge coins with intricate designs.

The die-cast manufacturing method is a process that involves using high pressure and temperatures to force molten metal into a mold to create the coin's shape.

The first step in the die-cast manufacturing process is to create a mold of the desired coin design. This mold is then placed in a die-casting machine, which heats the metal to a high temperature before injecting it into the mold under high pressure. The metal cools and hardens quickly, taking on the shape of the mold.

Once the coin has cooled, it is removed from the mold, and any excess metal is trimmed away. The final step is to add any desired finishes, such as enameling or polishing.

No matter what method is used to create challenge coins, RespondersPro always produces custom coins with the highest level of quality and craftsmanship that results in a beautiful and unique coin that will be cherished for years to come.

Soft focus Image of a door opening into a manufacturing plant.

Plating Process for Challenge Coins

Plating challenge coins involves a complex process that Challenge Coin collectors may not be aware of. To ensure the quality of the finished product, a variety of metals are used in different steps of the plating process.

Plating challenge coins involves a complex process that Beginner Coin Collectors may not be aware of. To guarantee the high quality of the finished product, a variety of metals are used in different steps of the plating process.

The first step is to electroplate a thin layer of copper onto the coin. This provides a smooth surface for the next layer of metal, which is usually nickel. Nickel plating helps to create a strong bond between the copper and the final layer of metal, which is typically gold or silver.

To achieve a high-quality finish, it is important to carefully control the thickness of each metal layer. Once the desired finish is achieved, the coin is polished and then coated with a clear lacquer to protect it from tarnishing.

The entire process can take several hours to complete, but the result is a stunningly detailed challenge coin that will be treasured for years to come.

Dual Plating Option for Challenge Coins

The manufacturing process for dual plating challenge coins which creates a custom coin with two different metals on the surface is a detailed and complex one. The result is always a high-quality and impressive coin.

The first step in the manufacturing process is to create a die that will be used to stamp out the coin design. This die is created by carving the desired image into a piece of metal. Once the die is created, it is then attached to a press. The press is used to stamp out the coins from a sheet of metal.

After the coins have been stamped out, they are then given a base coat of metal. This base coat helps to give the coins their distinctive color. Once the base coat has been applied, the coins are then cleaned and given a top coat of metal. This top coat helps to protect the coins and give them a shine.

Once the top coat has been applied, the coins are then inspected for quality control purposes. After they have been approved, they are then packaged and shipped to their final destination. Dual plating challenge coins make a great gift or addition to any collection.

Polishing Process for Challenge Coins

Hand Polishing at RespondersPro vs Machine Polishing

Most people are familiar with challenge coins, but they may not be aware of the advantages of hand polishing versus machine polishing in the manufacturing process. At our custom coins are hand polished as we absolutely love the result.

There are many advantages to hand polishing challenge coins over machine polishing challenge coins in the production process. The act of hand polishing requires patience and attention to detail, and the finished product is a reflection of that care and dedication.

Hand polishing produces a much higher quality coin, with a smoother, more polished surface. It also gives the coin a more beautiful and lustrous finish as well as helps protect it from tarnishing and scratching. Additionally, it results in a more consistent finish, ensuring that all coins in a batch are of the same quality.

Machine polishing can cause marks and scratches on the coin surface, and can also lead to inconsistent finishes from one coin to the next.

Hand polishing is a more time-consuming process, but the results are definitely worth it!

The Wrap-Up

Challenge coins are a time-honored tradition in the military, and their popularity has spread to other industries as well. If you're looking for a unique way to show your appreciation for someone's hard work or commemorate an important event, challenge coins may be the perfect option for you. We hope this article has given you a better understanding of how challenge coins are made and the process involved in creating them. When ready to design and buy a custom challenge coin, be sure to reach out to RespondersPro. We would be happy to share our knowledge and expertise and help you create a unique and memorable coin that will show your appreciation for service members and first responders. Thank you for Serving!

Get Started button Contact Information, Phone Number and Email. Challenge Coins Made Easy

Get Set, Get Ready to Buy Custom First Responder Challenge Coins We've had the pleasure of working with law enforcement for years now, in all branches from City departments and universities. First Responders are the backbone of our cities and communities - they put their lives at risk every day to make sure that we all live safely! Law enforcement officers know that their departments have a rich history and Law Enforcement Challenge Coins are the perfect way to commemorate those moments. Custom Coins make a magnificent award or prize coin, and they can even assist you in recruiting new members! Our RespondersPro staff is proud to design custom-made challenge coins, medals, as well as custom lapel pins, and distinctive belt buckles for our clients in: We take pride and flair in designing custom-made challenge coins, medals, lapel pins, and distinctive belt buckles for our clients in: Police Departments • Law Enforcement Agencies Firefighter Departments • Sheriff Departments • EMS Services Military, Armed Forces, Coast Guard • Corporations • Schools, Universities, Colleges • Sports Teams & Sport Associations Celebrate life with a custom challenge coin design that will be unlike any other. If you're looking for something original, can help! Not only is our staff made up of professionals with a wide range of expertise and experience, but we also provide free quotations! We are eager to work with you to celebrate all of your outstanding achievements when you buy your Custom Police, Firefighter, and First Responder Challenge Coins, Patches and Badges, Medallions, Pins, and Belt Buckles.


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