The only thing that differentiates a custom coin from a challenge coin is its intended use. Custom coins are mainly used as souvenirs by organizations or individuals to celebrate special events. These coins can also be used as promotional items – they’re eye-catching, cost-effective, and hold intrinsic value.
Unlike paper or plastic items, customized metal coins are not disposable. That’s why companies like Gibson guitars, Walmart, etc., give out customized coins to employees, special customers, etc.
A challenge coin will feel and appear the same as a custom coin. But, you’ll only find these coins in the hands of military personnel. Challenge coins are medallions that are mainly traded by military officers, police officers, firefighters, etc. Many companies produce challenge coins to recognize such public servants.
Here are some fun applications of challenge coins:
- Recognize Unit Members: Senior military officers will often gift junior military members customized challenge coins for reaching certain achievements. These coins create pride in group and individual success.
- Observe Personal Traditions: Many public servants use their challenge coins to observe in-group traditions. For instance, if all members of the same unit are at a bar, only those not carrying their challenge coins pay.
- Surprise Gifts: The practice of giving challenge coins during surprise handshakes is very common among US military officers. The challenge is for the recipient to stay calm when presented with the gifted coin.
- Career Collection: Many top military officials collect and display all the challenge coins they’ve received throughout their careers. Professionals who have been stationed in hundreds of units often have hundreds of challenge coins to prove those achievements.
Challenge coins also increase/decrease in value over time. For example, challenge coins belonging to special force officers are resold for thousands of dollars on the Internet. Should you buy a custom coin or a challenge coin for your future event? The challenge coin tradition is prevalent only in service organizations (FBI, CIA, state police departments, etc.).
Unless you’re a part of these organizations, it’s better for you to get customized coins. You can have any design element engrained on your custom coins. As long as your custom coins are produced with high quality, they’ll reflect very well on your organization and you. Here’s a guide to creating the best custom coins in 2021.
Creating Custom Coins in 2021 – What are the Key Trends?
The custom coin industry is constantly evolving. Design trends and ideas spread like wildfire, but they also disappear into obscurity pretty quickly. The coolest custom coin of yesterday may look low-quality as per today’s standards. Here are the key design elements custom coin creators need to consider in 2021 –
- Larger Sizes: Both custom and challenge coins have increased in size in the past three years. It’s now normal for these coins to have diameters larger than three inches. The bigger your coins, the more design elements you can integrate.
- Limited Editions: If you’re creating a range of high-quality custom coins, make it ‘limited edition.’ Only order a certain quantity – refuse to create any other coins with the same design. This exclusivity gives a normal custom coin a special allure. Their perceived value increases as buyers sense urgency.
- Metallic Accents: All the best-looking custom and challenge coins of today have shiny metal accents. Antiqued metal finishes are also very popular.
- Unique Edges: Don’t refrain from giving your coins unique shapes. Your custom coin doesn’t need to be circular – it can have diamond edges, wavy edges, etc.
Always look for coin sellers who offer more customization options – whether you’re making custom or challenge coins. From custom, engraving to picture inserts – look for features that make your coins more unique. The most unique coins will stand out the most in 2021.