Veterans Day Challenge Coins – Show Your Appreciation, But Order Early

Honoring Our HeroesVeterans Day is rapidly approaching and every year we get many last minute requests for orders to arrive in time for a specific celebration date. Our staff can help make sure your challenge coins arrive on time by suggesting several options to avoid that typically extend production time.

With such an important date marking the service of many Americans across all service branches, we all want to make sure the event is a success. Several members of our staff are, in fact, veterans themselves – so we get it!

Remember that basic coins with no color or custom edges always deliver quicker than those with multiple colors and other enhancements. If in doubt, please do not hesitate to call us.

Note: Some of the more notable celebrations and parades in Washington, D.C. are listed here: http://dc.about.com/od/hoildaysseasonalevents/a/VeteransDay.htm

Police Agencies Adopt Military Challenge Coin Tradition

What is a Challenge Coin?

A challenge coin is a small medallion or coin that usually bears an organization’s emblem or insignia. Members of certain groups, like police officers, also carry them. Traditionally, they are handed out to prove membership of a particular group or organization. They also help to enhance morale. Additionally, military service members, law enforcement officers, and others collect them. Unit leaders often give out such coins to recognize an individual’s special achievements.

Types of Challenge Coins

There are two types of challenge coins that are created today. The first is commonly known as soft enamel and leaves every coin with a highly textured surface. The coin’s raised metal areas are created by putting the design onto the metal at an elevated level above the color fill. The second type of challenge coins is called hard enamel. This coin is adopted from traditional Chinese lapel pins. They use hard baked enamel to provide every coin with a very smooth finish. The main difference between these two finishes is the use of a polishing process that helps smooth out the elevated metallic areas to a degree that is even with the color fill. Soft enamel challenge coins are left unfinished while hard enamel coins are polished to produce a very smooth finish.

Uses

· A Very Useful Fundraiser

Many law enforcement agencies utilize challenge coins as one way of raising funds for various needs. These coins are specially designed with the agency’s symbol. At the same time, buying these coins helps the public understand the real concept behind them. They are very popular, as they are a good way to show support and appreciation for law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day in the line of duty. Owning one also gives a sense of belonging and pride. Law enforcement agencies also sell challenge coins to coin collectors due to their numismatic value.

· Helps Promote Common Goals Within a Task Force

A task force consists of a number of military, government or law enforcement agencies that work together to meet a common goal. These highly trained individuals fight illegal drugs, organized crime and gang violence. A great way to commemorate their struggles is through customized coins.

Challenge coins are highly suitable for task forces. This is because they create a way to support and honor law enforcement agents. Aside from being memorable and attractive, these coins are also very personal. A lot of recipients of challenge coins know that they are being honored and recognized for the type of job that they do. These special keepsakes are also not the type of object that people see every day. These mementos are very special.

· Symbolizes the Value of Their Organization

Law enforcement agencies also use challenge coins to represent the values that they stand for. The emblem that is imprinted on the coin frequently displays an idea that best represents the honor and labor that their organization is known for. Some police departments also include mascots and mottoes as symbols to represent the individuality and attitude of their organization. At the same time, they also promote support and pride among members of an organization.

· A Great Morale Builder

Coins are also used to increase the morale of a particular unit. This is done by acknowledging a significant milestone in law enforcement. It is also a great way to honor the excellent job of team members. At the same time, challenge coins also further cultivate cohesion and unity among the ranks.

Some police officials also use these coins to honor an agent who stands out from the group. They can award a challenge coin that bears his or her name, their badge number and their position within the department. A custom medallion and coin also demonstrates to law enforcement agents that their superiors truly care enough for them to bestow personal and meaningful recognition. Such collectible coins are often more important awards for law enforcement service than certificates. Additionally, they are made from high quality materials and are more resilient. To put it simply, they endure just like their message.

Dog Tag Challenge Coins Remain Popular Choice

The dog tag-style challenge coin is and remains a popular gift choice for active and nonactive American service members. These challenge coins are typically designed in the shape of a dog tag and are intended to be worn on a lanyard or chain around one’s neck, attached to a key ring, or simply placed in the pocket. One of the latest trends is to get a challenge coin with a built-in bottle opener, for those times when a challenge is issued by another challenge coin holder.

Dog tag challenge coins come in various shapes and styles, from the traditional military dog tag to oblong, octagonal, or hexagonal. When choosing a particular shape of challenge coin, a lot depends on what image the coin will bear and how the bearer chooses to display it. A horizontal design lends itself better to large, detailed images or pictures, while vertical designs work well because of their teardrop profile. Like traditionally shaped challenge coins, dog tag challenge coins can be customized with any number of images or designs.

The most popular designs are, of course, the branches of military service and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Service on the latter, in any capacity, carries a unique cache with it that sets these individuals apart even from their fellow service members. Beyond this, coins that commemorate service in a forward area or exotic locale, a particular campaign or battle, or a fallen comrade are also common choices. Designs that incorporate medals such as the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, or the Medal of Honor are more rare, but still not unusual among bearers or wearers of challenge coins.

The shape, form, type, and design of challenge coins are as varied and unique as the people that carry them, but they all serve the same purpose: to demonstrate their camaraderie and sense of unity with their brothers and sisters in arms, active or not, fallen or still carrying on. Many service members consider their challenge coins an indispensable part of their wardrobe, whether in any style of uniform or in civilian attire. Because of this, a challenge coin should reflect the bearer’s individuality as well as their branch and unit loyalty.

The military culture is one that plays just as hard as it works, if not nearly as often. Practical jokes and hard-driving, hard-drinking weekends are as much a part of military culture as standing inspections, reveille, and gunfire. The challenge coin is often used as a visual shorthand to display a member’s credentials to be in a given place, such as an NCO or Officers’ Club. When a coin is displayed in this way, it is often followed up by an audible challenge, such as a war cry, unit motto, or a more personal call. In either event, the bearer then flings the coin onto a hard surface in such a way as to make a clear sound. Others bearing challenge coins must answer the challenge. If everyone present does, the challenger must buy a round. If one person cannot answer or fails to do so in a timely manner, they must instead buy the round for the challenger and everyone who was able to answer.

While not all challenge coin holders use them for this purpose, it is a time-honored tradition in places where service members congregate. In addition to carrying with it a certain amount of good-natured ribbing, this bonding ritual demonstrates the fellowship and esteem all American services should share. More importantly, however, is the challenge coin’s function as a commemorative item that designates service, camaraderie, and adversity. Many service members today receive their first challenge coins right out of basic training. This announces to all that although they are still junior members of the service, they are as much comrades in arms as any other uniform-wearing person. Some veterans retire or leave active duty with a large number of challenge coins in their possession, and treasure them just as fiercely as their medals for service and valor.

If you’re looking for a great, unique gift for the service members, active or otherwise, in your life, a dog tag challenge coin is an excellent way to commemorate their service and thank them for their many sacrifices in defense of freedom both here and abroad. Not only do these special challenge coins make a memento they’ll be proud to carry, wear, and display, but they show that the bearer has done something really special and selfless. Order your customized dog tag challenge coin today!

Saying “I Do” with Challenge Coins

Think back to the many weddings you’ve attended and try to remember what the favors were. You can probably recall one or two, but chances are those favors — especially the edible ones like almonds or chocolate — are long forgotten. In planning your own wedding, you know you don’t want your special day to fade into oblivion in the memories of your guests. That’s why coming up with the perfect memento of your wedding day is key. Challenge coins, also known as arras coins or matrimonial coins, are the perfect choice to incorporate into your ceremony or reception. Guests can take these home and forever have a reminder of what made you as a couple so special.

These coins are becoming increasingly popular with brides these days, looking to recall a time of tradition yet with a modern twist. The design is round, elegant and solid, offering a chance for personalization as well. Perhaps one of the best ways to customize your day, challenge coins can bear any number of sayings, wording and names. One one side, you can etch both of your names, along with the date of the wedding. On the other side, you can etch a favorite saying, your wedding song, important dates in your relationship, a quote, or the bride’s and groom’s parents’ names. You can even use this portion as a tribute to a lost loved one, such as a mother or father who has passed on. What a lovely way to pay respect to those who can’t be there to witness your important occasion. In the event this is a second marriage and children are involved, you could list the kids’ names to symbolize the union of the two families.

Many Mexican and Spanish weddings feature matrimonial coins as part of the tradition, whereby the groom gives coins to the bride to signify the passing of the groom’s possessions and wealth. In turn, the bride promises to use this wealth wisely forever. Challenge coins reflect a couple’s commitment to one another in a beautiful way.

Choose from gold or silver coins, as well as several different formats and layouts. Incorporate a photo or graphic, and choose the font of your text as well. You can also tie in the theme or colors of the wedding to the coin, engraving symbols or wording that’s important to you as a couple. Not sure which plating to go with? Consider the wedding party colors, and match the plating accordingly. Go with gold for warm colors like yellow and red, and silver for cool colors such as blue and green.

Incorporating challenge coins into your wedding is easy, too. The bride could hand them out to everyone while greeting them in the receiving line, or the flower girl and ring bearer could pass them out. Another option is to have them placed on the side of each guest’s dinner plate, where you would put any traditional wedding favor. You may wish to add a card explaining the token of your love so that guests have a little background on the idea behind the favor. Challenge coins could also be placed at the reception near the guest book in a decorative basket for each guest to take one home. Include a simple card or sign that explains the meaning behind the favors.

These coins are perfect for buried treasure or Mardi Gras themed weddings. Place them in a treasure chest, along with some beads and fake jewels, and you have a wonderfully unique favor that your guests are sure to remember for many years to come.

Challenge coins can add a decorative, meaningful touch to any wedding — traditional or modern — allowing the couple to express their love for each other and appreciation for their guests in one simple yet detailed treasure. You can bet your guests won’t soon forget your wedding with coins made specifically for them to cherish.

Recognizing Achievement With Challenge Coins

Achievements can be celebrated in a variety of ways, from special dinners out to silver trophies. One tangible option with affordable costs and long-term satisfaction is personalized challenge coins. These custom-made metal coins can be crafted as awards of recognition for any type of achievement you can think of: graduations, sporting event prizes, accomplishments in business, employee of the month awards, personal development and so much more.

Challenge coins can be designed by anyone, or any number of professional design companies, to show the pictures and colors of a particular team, club group or event. Unique dies are created for each batch of ordered coins. This allows the group or person who is giving the coins out as achievement awards to truly personalize the experience for the people they wish to commemorate. They are often used by military groups, schools, sports and service clubs and by particular events such as the Special Olympics and school graduations.

Why give out challenge coins?

Everyone loves recognition for a job well done. Whether you are proud to reward an employee of the month in your company or celebrate a Little League baseball championship win, these custom coins show how much you appreciate what the recipient has done. Much more so than a nice meal or some inexpensive trinket, these personalized medals have long-term value. This can lead to increased motivation and a sense that their contribution is really appreciated and important.

Personalized coins and medallions can also help create a true team feeling, even if the group is just the employees working on a particular project together. Everyone involved gets the same recognition and badge that shows they were an integral part of getting things done. Whether they keep the coin at their desk, tucked in their pocket or home on the shelf, they will know that everyone around them has one too.

Traditions can be created around the team coin as well. They can become good luck pieces everyone brings out before a big game or something to slap down on the bar when the army platoon has a reunion. Many can be fashioned into keychains or paperweights too, to make them more accessible at all times.

What are some of the personalization options for challenge coins and how do you choose the best customizations for your needs?

Different diameters are available for these coins. The smallest are usually around 1 inch and they can go up to around 3 inches across. Most are round, but other shapes are available. Square and rectangular ones are popular and can be displayed easily on small stands on a desk or shelf. This allows the recipient to show off his achievements easily.

Dog tag shaped coins are available for military group recognition. Many challenge coin companies also offer complete customization of coin shape. Shield or badge shapes would be perfect for police or fire service. State outline coins make great prizes for championship games. Consider mortar board cap shape for graduations, crosses for holy communions and coat-of-arms for family events and service clubs.

Multiple types of metal and materials are offered as well. The most popular options are bronze, nickel-plated, copper, silver, gold, and black metal. These usually come in shiny, brushed, or antique finishes. Of course there are different prices ranges depending on the metal. These would be ideal for sporting events where you wish to aware bronze, silver and gold medals for the winners.

Commemorative coins can be 3-dimensional with carved out pictures or symbols, can be screen printed with detailed pictures, have enamel color in any design, laser etching and sand-blasting. Multiple options for display and presentation exist as well, from velvet bags to custom acrylic cases.

Whether you are the leader of a amateur sports team or the CEO of a large corporation, challenge coins can be the perfect gift to show recognition and appreciation of a job well done. With the wide variety of customization options, these awards can become ultimately personalized for the recipient and serve as a wonderful reminder of their accomplishments.

Limit Special Challenge Coin Options For Fastest Delivery

We know what you are thinking…you found the perfect gift or recognition item – challenge coins – but need them delivered in record time. Below is some extremely helpful information to get your coins to you in the quickest way possible.

Limit The Number of Colors

A design that includes many colors all have to be filled by hand, in individual steps. The more colors you have, the longer the enameling process will take. If you choose to have coins with no color at all your order will deliver the quickest because after the metal plating process has finished, they are ready to ship.

Stay With Traditional 2D Designs

Most challenge coins are produced with simple 2D raised and recessed areas which make up your design. Sometimes, a customer will want a 3D image or element added to their project. The 3D process will take 2-5 days longer than a 2D coin.

Specialty Edging

Edges that are cut by a machine, such as Cross Cut and Beveled edges, take 2-3 days longer than a regular flat edge, or one that is built into the mold. An example of an edge that is built into the mold would be a Spur or Rope type. Machine cut edges will add 2-4 days to your scheduled ship date.

Numbering Can Cost You Time

As with edging, numbering or engraving your challenge coins must be done by machine, which will extend the completion date by 2-3 days.

Dual Plated Coins Need A Lot of Extra Production Time

The look of a dual plated coin (for example, gold and silver) is very pleasing. However, this process is the most delay-causing option for your custom coins. Often times, the dual plating has to be remade on up to 30% of your coins to pass quality control. This means a dual plated design may be ready to ship up to a week after a traditional single plated design.

Here are a few things that will not delay delivery of your order:

Packaging

Having your order placed in special option packaging such as Velvet cases or Coin Capsules does not add to delivery time.

Antiqued Finish

Giving your coins a weathered look of antiqued metal is a simple process that will not hinder a normal production schedule. Note, this does not include dual antiqued plating.

Glow In The Dark Enamel

We can add special enamel that glows in the dark with no delays.

Make Your Tailgate Party Exciting with Challenge Coin Bottle Openers

Sporting events of all kinds have been popular in the United States since before the turn of the Century. Today, millions of sports fanatics enjoy watching everything from football and basketball, to hockey and baseball. While not everyone has the means to attend their favorite team’s games, the ones that do make an entire day out of the event. A tailgate party is the perfect way to get to the game early, enjoy delicious food with your friends, and get pumped up for the game you are about to watch. In fact, some attendees look forward to tailgate parties more than they look forward to entering the stadium and watching the quarters or periods of play.

Stocking Up For Your Tailgate Party

If you are arranging the tailgate party, you know that no party is complete without finger foods, snacks, and beer. Beer has become the staple of virtually every sporting event fan in the nation. There is nothing like enjoying your favorite domestic beer or imports when you are watching your favorite team. However, when you are strolling down the aisles of your favorite retail store, it is very common to get so overwhelmed with all of the beer choices, that you entirely forget to buy bottle openers for those who just do not like beer in a can. If you have a challenge coin bottle opener, you will never get caught at your tailgate party without a tool designed to take the pesky cap off of the bottle.

Coin Bottle Openers Make The Party Interesting

What Are Challenge Coins and Why Do They Make the Perfect Bottle Openers?

Challenge coins have been around since World War I. These popular medallions were carried by all military personnel and became a popular accessory by soldiers and civilians alike. While the coins were used for identification purposes in times of war, they had no real purpose but to display a person’s affiliation or their pride in modern times. It is not until now, that challenge coins have been turned into bottle openers, that they can be the perfect conversation piece and also have a purpose. If you are the type of individual who never leaves home without your challenge coin in your pocket, you will never get caught without a bottle opener, even at your tailgate party. Your challenge coin can be more than just for show when you buy a challenge coin and bottle opener in one.

Drinking, Sports, and Challenge Coins: They All Go Together

Everyone knows that drinking has been popular with soldiers since the units formed. Soldiers also spent a lot of their off time playing sports. In the past, soldiers were required to bring their coins with them everyone, including the bars. In today’s modern world, the coins have become more of a collectors piece. But considering the conversation that you can spark up with a challenge coin, it is no surprise that they are gaining popularity once again now that they have been manufactured into fully usable bottle openers. Now, you can combine drinking, sports, and challenge coins together at one party and your tailgate is sure to be the most entertaining one in the entire lot.

Challenge Coin Bottle Openers in All Shapes, Sizes, and Finishes

Do you have a favorite sports team, hobby, insignia, organization, or squadron? One of the best things about challenge coin bottle openers is that they can be customized just for you. If you want to represent anything from the army to the business you started, you can do that by ordering a custom piece. These bottle openers can be made in copper, bronze, silver, and gold finishes and come in various sizes and shapes. The sky is the limit.

Give Your Guests a Gift

Tailgate party guests never expect to receive gifts; they attend the party only expecting to have fun. You can be every person’s favorite tailgate party host and order all of your closest friends personalized challenge coin bottle openers of their favorite teams. This will benefit your party goers, but it will also benefit you because you never have to worry about someone running off with your beloved challenge coin.

Turn your commemorative coin into a functional bottle opener and become the hit of the party. With your challenge coin bottle opener, you can spark up conversation with new people in the group and keep your throat wet at the same time.

Versatile and Popular Mementos Make Coins A Smart Choice

Coins have a staying power few other keepsakes can match. They’re the fascinating foreign stowaways lingering in unpacked luggage after a trip overseas. They’re the captivating little relics languishing in the dust in the back of an antique dresser drawer. They’re the intriguing finds nestled deep in the bottom of a vintage coat pocket. Each seems to beckon with a story to tell. Who carried it? What did it buy? How many hands has it touched? Unlike many other forgotten attic curios, coins have a tendency to stick around. They’re currency, so no one is ever eager to part with them.

Challenge coins create an even more lasting impression: They’re created specifically for making memories richer and recollections more permanent. Their origins are familiar, but they’ve since gained a contemporary versatility that has far outlived their earliest purpose. How are they used today? Count the change.

Military and Civic Honors

These medallions are still highly regarded by the military, and that enthusiasm has never dimmed. Their latest popularity lies with other areas of public service, where use of challenge coins is at an all-time high. They congratulate and inspire police agencies, special task forces and fire departments, and they’re particularly meaningful to units with shared experiences. Just as soldiers carry reminders of valor in battle, those who have served faithfully in the public sector appreciate symbols of bravery, selflessness and collaboration.

Private Companies

If anything is true of today’s currency exchange, it’s the fact that everyone’s counting pennies. Companies are constantly looking for affordable ways to reinvigorate morale, but many attempts at employee recognition leave recipients cold. Certificates and plaques can be predictable, and kitschy doodads emblazoned with the company logo end up forgotten in desk drawers. Challenge coins recognize impressive terms of service, reward loyalty, or celebrate exemplary performance. Beyond the obvious anniversaries, holiday parties or retirement gifts, they also instill a sense of accomplishment and solidarity within individual departments or working groups. If a team risks forgetting how difficult a sales goal was to reach, how trying the numbers were to crunch, how demanding a coveted client was to land, or how challenging a campaign was to launch, a coin will always be there as a reminder of hard work, persistence and achievement.

Schools

College fraternities and sororities are perpetually on the lookout for unique expressions of brotherhood or sisterhood, and coins offer something more lasting than handshakes, T-shirts or bumper stickers. Here, these mementos evoke their original function: tangible expressions of membership. Handed down from a legacy to a new recruit during an initiation ceremony, a coin will be revered as much as a fraternity or sorority pin or lavaliere will be.

A letterman’s jacket may someday fall out of vogue for school sports stars, but a smaller, more compact reminder of a winning season won’t. Coins are also minted for school clubs, bands and honor societies, from the Latin Club to the drum corps to the cast of a school play wrapping its final performance.

Collectors

Collectors aren’t just on the hunt for the antique, the elusive or the extinct; sometimes the novel is just as fun a find. Collecting challenge coins is a growing trend; one famous collection even resided in the White House under President Bill Clinton.

Families

Personalized coins are standard bearers for an earlier time, and these are treated as heirlooms. Whether it’s an original medallion for belonging to a battle division, a permanent reminder of membership in a beloved organization or a nod to first place in a spelling bee, a challenge coin is an expression of personal identity that can remain in a family for generations.

Gifts

Because they’re less pricey to produce than many other recognition gifts are, these make popular gifts that pack a far more touching punch than most people would expect. Using only a high-resolution image, they can be customized down to the slightest detail, so there’s no organization too small, no membership too unorthodox and no occasion too random for production of a one-of-a-kind collector’s item. Challenge coins mark milestone birthdays, births, adoptions and graduations, but they also commit life’s littlest moments to memory. Whether they’re made for a society 100 members strong or for five best friends sharing an inside joke, there’s no doubt that this is one form of currency that’s as rewarding to give away as it is to earn.

Helpful Hints In Coin Ordering

We want to make sure that when you receive your coins, you are 100% satisfied with the end product. We have come up with a few tips you can use to make sure that happens.

Many challenge coins are crafted using 3D images. This feature adds detail and a sense of personalization that regular 2D coin do not provide. In order to make sure the finished piece comes out looking absolutely stunning, we require a high resolution image to work from. The more detailed the picture, the more crisp the 3D coin will turn out. If the image you provide is not up to standards, we will contact you and request a better reference.

Epoxy is also popular as it provides a layer of protection to the surface of the coin. While aesthetically pleasing, it cannot be mixed with 3D or Glow-In-The Dark enamel color fill. The epoxy coating will inhibit light penetration, causing the Glow-In-The Dark enamel to become inactive – in other words, it won’t glow.

Dual plating is a process whereby two metals are used on the same coin, for example; gold and silver. This option really adds a level detail that can distinguish your challenge coins from the crowd. However, please note that tiny areas between details int eh design may or may not be eligible for this option. Dual plating is best reserved for larger areas and not applied to smaller areas.

Printed inserts allow us to place your exact image on one or both sides of your coin. Again, the quality of the picture provided has a direct influence on how well the printing will turn out. Please send us the very best reference you have if this option is chosen.

Sizing: We sell more 1.75″ coins than any other, and most design concepts are able to be fit into this working area. If your idea is highly detailed, we may suggest increasing the diameter of your custom coins so that text and other features are accurately represented. If there is cause for alarm as to certain aspects, we will notify you and suggest a solution. Often, minute details are rendered as “representational” – meaning, you will be able to recognize the feature, but some detail may be lost.

Depending on shape, bottle opener coins have specific dimensions that must be used so that the coin will actually open a bottle. As a general rule, such designs have to be two inches or larger for a functioning piece.

Check back often as we update our blog for more insightful suggestions.