Choose The Right Custom Challenge Coin Size: A Guide for Military Coins and More

6 minute read

Published on: 22 Jul 2019

Last modified on: 21 May 2024

Sizing Guide - How to Choose the Right Custom Challenge Coin Size
Table of Contents

Understanding the Significance of Challenge Coins

Before diving into sizes, it's important to understand why challenge coins are so valued. Originating in the military during World War I, these coins have grown to represent more than just military achievements. Today, they're used across various organizations, including fire departments, police forces, government agencies, and even in corporate settings. They honor individuals, mark significant events, and foster a sense of belonging.

In the world of enamel challenge coins, the diversity and creativity are boundless, especially in the military challenge coin sector. These coins aren't just limited to traditional designs; they often come in custom shapes, offering a unique way to represent different units and missions. For those looking to showcase their collection, a custom coin display can be an elegant solution, allowing each unique piece, including any custom pins, to be prominently and proudly shown. Whether you're a collector, a member of the military, or just someone with a keen interest in these fascinating tokens, there's always more to learn and share about the intricate world of challenge coins and their accompanying enamel and pin designs.

The Tradition Behind Challenge Coins

Challenge coins tell a story. They tell stories about the organization they are for, the person they are gifted to, as well as the person who made it.

They aren't used as a formal award, instead, they are very informal. Evidence of this is how the coins are usually given. The coin giver usually places the challenge coin in the palm of their hand, and they pass it to the receiver through a handshake.

Often times, they are something that individuals in an organization carry with them. It's very common for organizations with coins to play games to see who has theirs on them. For example, if one person pulls out their coin and someone doesn't have theirs, then that person is responsible for buying drinks for the whole group.

Challenge coins are a great way to honor individuals and create traditions within your group. Challenge coins are more than mere tokens – they tell stories. Traditionally passed through a handshake, they symbolize membership, achievement, and unity. These coins are often part of friendly challenges within groups, adding to their communal value.

Who Benefits from Custom Coins?

Challenge coins are used for many different purposes. They used to be used solely in the armed forces. Now, firefighters, police officers, government departments, businesses, and other groups use them for many different purposes. They can be used to honor acts of bravery, commemorate a big event such as retirement, or even to help raise money for a cause. Initially exclusive to military circles, challenge coins have found their way into various sectors. The rarity of certain coins has even made them collectible items with significant value.

People are generally surprised at how common they are. There is a large community of individuals who trade and collect challenge coins as well. The more rare ones can sell for $40-50.

Custom Challenge Coin Size

Choosing the Right Coin Size: Factors to Consider

Challenge coins vary greatly in size, but the most common size is about 2 inches in diameter. However, they can be made larger or smaller than this. The challenge coin size ranges anywhere from 1.5-3 inches in diameter.

This coins size is the most common because it offers the greatest balance between space for design, weight, portability, and visual impact. However, that doesn't mean that this is the best size for everyone's needs.

Coin Sizes Design Requirements

Deciding on the design is one of the first things you will do when creating your custom coin. Laying out your design beforehand will help you determine which size is best.

One of our professionals will help you create the design you have in mind, and make recommendations as to which sizes your design will fit best on.

If you want your challenge coin to have a lot of details, generally a larger size is better. A larger challenge coin will allow those details to show through and help people appreciate them more.

If your design is more simple, a smaller challenge coin will work just fine. Considering how much you want to put on the coin will help you determine which size is best.

  • Detailed designs require larger coins to capture intricate elements effectively.
  • Simpler designs can be accommodated on smaller coins.
  • Work with a professional to determine the best size for your design.

Budget Considerations When Choosing A Challenge Coin

Your budget is another important factor in deciding what size is best. The price per coin increases as the size of the challenge coin increases. You do get a discount the more coins you buy, but that's not always a reasonable option for everyone.

Things like how detailed the design is, adding color, and if you are putting a design on both sides of the challenge coin will all affect the coin price. The key is to find the right balance between all of these things as your trying to make a coin that fits into your budget.

It's also important to remember that on top of the price per coin, you will also be responsible for the price of the mold of the enamel coin. This is a one time fee, added onto your order total. The price of the mold also increases as the coin size increases.

  • Larger coins cost more, affecting your budget.
  • Consider mold costs, which increase with coin size.
  • Balance design complexity, size, and budget for optimal results.

Intended Purpose: Matching Coin Size to Your Needs

Tailoring Size for Aviator, Gear Enthusiasts, and Standard Challenge Seekers

Lastly, it's important to consider the purpose of the coin. Do you want it to be something that people can carry around with them in their pocket? Or do you imagine it being displayed?

A large coin is perfect for being framed and put on display in a home or an office. Smaller coins will easily fit in an individuals wallet or purse.

A good visual reference is a quarter. A quarter is a little less than 1 inch in diameter. you can lay multiple quarters next to each other to get an idea of what a 1, 2, and 3-inch coin would look like.

  • Large coins are ideal for display purposes, suitable for offices and homes.
  • Smaller coins are perfect for carrying in wallets or pockets.
  • Use a quarter as a reference to visualize different coin sizes.

Ready to Design Your Coin?

Your Challenge Sized: Finding the Ideal Coin Dimensions

At Custom Challenge Coins, we understand the importance of getting every detail right. Our team is here to assist you in designing a coin that perfectly aligns with your vision, budget, and purpose. Whether you seek a coin for display or one that fits neatly in a pocket, we've got you covered. When you're ready to commemorate a special event or honor a significant achievement, it's time to order challenge coins tailored to your specific needs.

For more questions or help, call our office or complete our free online quote


Heather studied business and technology at Texas State University and has been with Custom Challenge Coins for over 4 years and counting. :) When she is not managing the technical sides of Custom Challenge Coins she is writing informational articles and posting cool pictures of our coins. If you would like your coin order that we manufactured to be featured on our website please reach out to

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All Rights Reserved. All symbols, logos and slogans depicted are registered trademarks of their respective owners. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense visual information does not imply or constitute endorsement. By submitting designs to, subsidiary of MetalPromo LLC, the purchasing party warrants that he, she, or it has/had the legal right to reproduce (or have reproduced) any logos or other images associated with his/her/its order. Samples on the site are for illustrative purposes only and are not for sale.
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