How To Design and Order Custom Challenge Coins

Military coins were popularized by the US military, but their origin is far older. In ancient Rome, soldiers were rewarded with coins for their achievements in battle. They signified bravery and loyalty and were prized possessions. Today, challenge coins have gained popularity outside of military life. There could be many reasons why you may want to design and order custom challenge coins, but one thing is for sure, they’re a great way to honor and recognize achievements of all kinds.

This guide provides insight into all your need to know about challenge coins. At the end we’ll show you how to design and order custom challenge coins in just a few simple steps.

Custom Military Challenge Coin

What is a challenge coin?

A challenge coin is a small, round or shaped metal token typically designed with a specific logo or emblem. They are given as a symbol of recognition or appreciation for an individual’s achievements, membership in a particular group, or to commemorate special events. For example, a military unit may have its own personalized challenge coin that it gives out to members as a token of camaraderie and pride.

But challenge coins can also be used in other settings, such as businesses, sports teams, and organizations. 12-step programs often use challenge coins to commemorate an individual’s progress and sobriety. If you run a business, you can use challenge coins as a unique way to reward and motivate employees, or to give out as special gifts to clients.

In short, they’re a versatile and meaningful way to show appreciation in the form of something tangible that can be kept and cherished.

What does it mean if someone gives you a challenge coin?

If someone gives you a challenge coin, it usually holds some significance. Here are some common meanings behind receiving a challenge coin:

  • Recognition. A custom coin can be given as a way to recognize someone’s achievements, whether it’s in the military, sports, or business.
  • Membership. In some organizations or groups, receiving a challenge coin symbolizes membership and belonging. It can be seen as an initiation into the group.
  • Camaraderie. Challenge coins are often given as tokens of camaraderie and brotherhood/sisterhood. It’s a way to show unity and pride among members.
  • Commemoration. Special events or milestones can be recognized with a commemorative coin, such as anniversaries, retirements, or promotions.

Can a civilian gift a challenge coin?

Absolutely! While challenge coins have a long history in the military, they have become increasingly popular in civilian settings as well. In fact, there are many businesses and organizations that create custom challenge coins specifically for gifting purposes. Whether it’s for an employee, client, or friend, giving a challenge coin is a thoughtful and unique way to show appreciation. So don’t hesitate to give a challenge coin as a gift, regardless of your background or profession.

Design & Order Custom Challenge Coins

How to make your own challenge coin

If you’re interested in creating your own challenge coin, then this guide is for you. Since challenge coins have grown in popularity in the civilian world, many companies now offer manufacturing services to help you design your own challenge coin. Here are some steps to get you started:

1. Choose your design

You might already know what you want your challenge coin to look like, If not, take some time to brainstorm and come up with a challenge coin design that represents your purpose or organization well. Traditionally, a challenge coin will have some of the following elements:

  • Insignia or emblem. This can be a logo, symbol, or image that represents your organization or group.
  • Motto or slogan. A short phrase or saying that captures the essence of your purpose or values.
  • Achievement or accomplishment. This could be a specific date, event, or achievement that you want to commemorate with the coin.
  • Border. Some challenge coins have a decorative border around the edge, while others have a simple and clean design.
  • Other design elements. You could feature important imagery or symbols related to your organization, such as flags, animals, landmarks or decorative patterns. Get creative and have fun with it!

Note that despite the name “challenge coin”, they don’t have to be round! While circular coins are the most traditional, you can also choose a different shape to fit your challenge coin design. For example, a state-shaped coin for a state organization or an airplane-shaped coin for a military squadron.

2. Find the right manufacturer

Once you have your design in mind, it’s time to go on the hunt for a custom manufacturer who can help you create a challenge coin. You might be wondering, “Can I just make a coin myself?” While it’s not impossible, creating a high-quality and durable custom coin requires specialized equipment and a certain level of skill. If you’re not keen on investing in high-tech machinery or spending hours trying to perfect your design, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.

Custom manufacturing has come a long way, and there are many companies that specialize in producing challenge coins. Do your research and find a manufacturer with experience, good reviews, and the ability to customize your coin how you want it.

Here at The/Studio, we’re proud to be one of the top manufacturers of challenge coins in the industry. We give you full control over the challenge coin design process. This means you get to choose the size, shape, material, and finish of your coin, with near-endless options for customization. Our team of experts is always available to guide you through the process and offer advice. The best part is we offer low minimums, so you can get as few or as many coins as you need.

3. Choose your material finish and size

Challenge coins are generally made of metal and the finish is up to you. Here are some of the most common material and finish options:

  • Brass. A classic and popular option that gives a shiny, gold-like appearance.
  • Copper. Similar to brass but with more of a reddish hue.
  • Silver. For a sleeker and more modern-looking coin.
  • Antique finishes. Gives your custom coin an aged or weathered appearance.

The size of your coin is also something you need to consider. Most challenge coins range from 1.5 to 3 inches in diameter, but you can choose a larger or smaller size depending on your design and budget.

4. Choose other coin embellishments

You might want a simple and clean design, or you might want to go all out with an enamel fill, rhinestones, and a spinning center. With the right manufacturer (like The/Studio) you can add pretty much any embellishment you can think of.

Here are some fun additions you could consider:

  • Bottle opener cutout
  • Glow in the dark enamel
  • Sequential numbering
  • Epoxy coating
  • Aluminum metal core

Your challenge coin is yours to customize however you’d like! Think about what elements will best represent your organization or event and have fun including them in your design.

Order Challenge Coins Online

5. Order challenge coins from a manufacturer

Once you have finalized your design and chosen all of the necessary details, it’s time to place your order. Typically, most manufacturers take around 3-6 weeks to produce and deliver your coins.

At The/Studio, we offer faster turnarounds if you need your coins sooner. Just speak with our customer service team to discuss your options!

Once you receive your coins, they’re yours to do with as you wish!  Give them to your team, sell them as merchandise, or use them as a unique and memorable giveaway at events. Whatever you do with them, we’re sure they’ll be a hit!

Partner with The/Studio to Order Custom Challenge Coins

If you’re looking for a custom manufacturer that puts quality first and offers endless design options for your custom challenge coins, then we’re happy to welcome you to The/Studio family! We can help you create a challenge coin that perfectly matches your design, giving you complete control over the process. We also offer low minimum order quantities, so whether you want 1,000 coins or only a handful, we’re on it. Simply visit our website and start creating!


How do I design a challenge coin?

Step 1. Choose the quantity, size, shape, and metal finish of your coins.

Step 2. Decide on the color scheme and any additional features like cutouts or glow in the dark enamel.

Step 3. Add your desired text, logos, or images to create a unique design.

Step 4. Finalize your design and submit it to our team for production.

How much does it cost to make a challenge coin?

At The/Studio, you can order 200 coins for as little as $2.39 each. For lower quantities, the price per coin will be slightly higher. However, we also offer bulk discounts for larger orders.

What equipment is needed to make challenge coins?

  • Computer-aided design (CAD) software to create your design
  • Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software to program the production process
  • Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine to cut the design into a metal mold
  • A hot oven to temper the mold and make it ready for stamping
  • Stamping press to produce the coins from the mold

Can anyone make a challenge coin?

Absolutely! Although mainly associated with the military, civilian organizations and individuals have been creating custom challenge coins for various purposes. At The/Studio, we welcome anyone to design their own unique challenge coin.



Get started with your design today!

Why wait? Select your options, share your artwork, and we’ll get you started on your custom products.


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