Difference Between Enamel Challenge Coins, Die Struck, and Photo Insert Coin Options

7 minute read

Published on: 28 Oct 2022

Last modified on: 29 Mar 2024

Difference between enamels challenge coins, die struck, and photo insert coin options
Table of Contents

One of the first decisions that you’ll make when designing your custom challenge coin is how you want the image or design to be represented on the coin. This will impact the size of your coin, the colors, and the amount of detail that you’re able to see. 

Top Article Highlights

  • Enamel challenge coins are popular for their detailed and colorful designs, with options for soft enamel with recessed paint sections or hard enamel for a smooth, polished finish.
  • Die struck challenge coins offer a classic, colorless look with textured recessed areas and polished raised edges, suitable for those preferring a more traditional metal appearance.
  • Photo insert challenge coins allow for the highest level of detail and color, ideal for intricate designs that require photographic accuracy on a larger coin surface.
  • The choice between enamel, die struck, and photo insert challenge coins depends on the intricacy of the design, the desire for color, and the specific occasion or representation of the organization.
  • Custom Challenge Coins offers personalized consultation and customization, helping customers choose the right type, design, and material for their challenge coins to best represent their organization's goals and audience.

At Custom Challenge Coins, we offer a wide range of options, including enamel, die struck, and photo insert coins. In this blog post, we’ll detail what you need to know about these popular styles of challenge coins before you place your order for custom coins.

Enamel Challenge Coins

Enamel challenge coins have colored enamel paint in the recessed portions of the challenge coin’s design. At Custom Challenge Coins, we offer two different types of enamel coin styles. Soft enamel coins have recessed and raised edges. The color paints it on the recessed section of the coin. If you run your finger along the design, you would be able to feel that the recessed portions with the paint in them are lower than the raised design. 

With a hard enamel coin, the paint is flush with the raised edges of the design. This means that the final design has a polished smooth finish.

There are different types of additives that you can add to upgrade the look of your finished coin. There is glitter and specialty glow in the dark  that can be used to make your custom challenge coin even better. 

Most of the custom challenge coins you’ll see are an enamel design. It’s a great way to add great detail, color, and style to a coin. Plus, enamel pins are fairly affordable compared to other types of coins. If you’re ordering your first set of custom challenge coins, you can’t go wrong with an enamel coin.

Die Struck Challenge Coins

Die struck challenge coins are also very popular. Instead of using paint to provide colors and designs, the coins are not filled once made. The result is a striking, colorless image with the recessed and recessed portions of the metal completely exposed. 

In most cases, the recessed portions of the design are left sandblasted and full of texture, whereas the raised edges are shiny and polished. However, there are many customization options that you can use to further customize your challenge coins so that they reflect the exact style that you want to portray. 

Types of Challenge Coins

Photo Insert Challenge Coins

Photo insert coins provide the highest amount of detail of these styles. The image is placed onto the coin directly. As a result, you can see the greatest amount of detail and color possible on the coins.

Because of the details used, photo insert coins are best when used in a larger coin. This provides a larger surface for the image on the coin. However, if you have any questions, you can work with our graphic design team to find the right balance of clarity and size when it comes to your custom challenge coins.

How to Choose Between Enamel, Die Struck, and Photo Insert Custom Challenge Coins

All three processes of creating custom enamel challenge coins create professional high-quality coins that will represent your organization well. However, the final product and cost will be different depending on which option you decide on. If you’re really unsure of which option to start with, here are some additional factors to consider:

How Intricate is Your Design

If you have an incredibly intricate design where only a photo would be capable of capturing all of the details, a photo insert coin is probably the best fit. While we can get a lot of detail into die struck and enamel coins, we are limited in terms of space and the need to create raised and recessed edges. A photo insert coin will be able to capture what something actually looks like in full color. 

Do You Want Color?

If you want a coin without any added colors, the die struck custom challenge coin is the perfect option. This will give you the look of natural metal with a timeless design that recipients will enjoy for many years to come.

A Special Occasion Coin?

Sometimes organizations want to create a special occasion version of an existing coin design. Perhaps a 50th anniversary warrants a glitter, rainbow, or blackout version of your organization’s logo or message. This might mean turning an existing design into a variation that you can use for this purpose.

enamel custom challenge coins

Other customers want to choose a coin design that closely reflects their logo. An enamel coin would be a good choice here because the die provides a clean, professional look that will match your organization’s logo.

It is also important to consider which type of coin will be best for your organization’s goals and target audience. By speaking with one of our customer care agents, you can also receive advice on what types of words, images, and colors will be most impactful on your organization’s audience.

Speak With One of Our Customer Care Agents

There are many different things to consider when ordering custom challenge coins, and speaking with one of our team members will help you to decide which type of design would work best for you. There are different sizes and shapes of challenge coins, as well as different materials. There are also different styles of challenge coins, ranging from a classic coin that has a smooth, polished finish to a custom coin that has a textured, hammered finish.

One way to decide which type of coin design to go with is to speak to one of our customer care team members who can help you to determine which approach would best suit your needs. 

Get Help Designing Your Next Challenge Coin

Need help designing a custom enamel challenge coin? We’re here to help. You can contact us to get in touch with our customer care team. We can work together to create a custom challenge coin. 

At Custom Challenge Coins, we provide custom coins to clients across the nation. Whatever your challenge coin needs might be, we can help you with a design that will perfectly represent your organization. If you need help, contact us today and let’s get started on your next set of custom coins!

Jack Thompson

Jack Thompson was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After retiring from the military, Jack moved to Austin, Texas, to start a new chapter in his life. He has always been passionate about storytelling and decided to become a writer and podcaster. He runs a successful podcast where he discusses military history, shares personal anecdotes, and interviews other veterans. Jack also writes often about military traditions and history.

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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 CustomChallengeCoins.net, 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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