What is a Challenge Coin?

The simple answer is: A challenge coin is usually a metal coin or medallion, bearing an organization's insignia, emblem or logo and carried by the organisation's members. Traditionally, challenge coins were used by the military and displayed by service men and women to prove exclusive membership when challenged, and to enhance the military units' morale.

Historically, challenge coins were awarded by military unit commanders in recognition of special achievement made by a member of the unit. They are also known to be exchanged and traded during recognition visits to different international organisations, bases and service tours. These coins have been heavily collected by active and retired service members and law enforcement personnel for years.

Modern challenge coins are made in a variety of sizes and shapes. Many companies today are using them to build morale in teams, link people with similar interests and even to promote their brand. Challenge coin designs today are pushing the boundary of what a challenge coin could mean or be used for. 


The possibilities are endless. From the traditional round shape to virtually any shape you want.

There are a multitude of colours and finishes available.


Every challenge coin starts out as nothing more than an idea. We provide free artwork and revisions, but we can’t get started on your coins until we know a little something about your vision.

So, the first step in challenge coin design is coming up with an idea. Think about what kind of artwork you want on the front and back of your coins. Who are the coins for, and what kind of events will they be a part of? What colors do you imagine?

These questions only scratch the surface of what your coins will mean and how they will look, but they’re great things to think about when you’re starting out. Some of the best challenge coin designs focus on logos, mascots and slogans, but we can create just about anything you can dream up.

Use resources like Google images etc to find some inspiration. Once you have some ideas and images ready, share them with us, and write down a description of how you see the finished coins.

Making a quick sketch is the best way to help us see what kind of artwork you have in mind. You don’t have to be a professional artist. We just need to be able to see how you envision the general layout of the text and artwork in the coin design.


Most challenge coins are 3mm thick. Occasionally, you’ll see challenge coins that are 3.5mm thick, but a great majority of coins are designed to be 3mm thick.

This gives them a decent weight and solid feel, but upgrading from a 3mm coin to a 4mm coin will increase the weight of your design by 33%. Heavier coins feel more valuable and durable. If you want to make a big impression with your challenge coins, you don’t need to get a huge coin, you just have to increase the thickness of the design. 


One of the best ways to change the texture of your coins is by including 3D artwork. While 2D coins have one raised and one recessed level, 3D coins have innumerable raised and recessed levels. The sculpted artwork of 3D gives artwork incredible depth and detail and changes the way the surface of the coin feels.

3D challenge coin artwork opens the door for all kinds of different shapes and textures, and the level of detail is unrivaled. If you prefer the look of a 2D coin, there are still plenty of ways to create a beautiful coin design as well. It’s all a matter of what kind of challenge coin design you’re looking for.


These last few aspects of challenge coin design will wrap everything up. It’s important to think of whether you want color on one side, both sides or no color at all. And it’s also important to consider what type of color you want to use in your design.


Let us help bring your design to life.