2D Versus 3D Metal on Coins and Keychains.

May 20, 2024

First things first, we don’t want to confuse you. All our custom coins and keychains have 3D elements when we produce them! But there are two different ways to make your custom coin and keychain have that extra flare; either a flatter 2D mold or a more raised 3D mold.

2D Metal

shiny silver soft enamel coin

Features of 2D Metal

2D metal for keychains and coins means that the design will be overall flat. It doesn’t mean that your custom pin or coin won’t have texture, far from it! Think about the coin like a building; your design is going to rise up, flatten out at the top, and then drop back down to the base of the coin or keychain. This means that the design will have a sharper texture and sit flat on a table.

When to Use 2D

If you want to see a design that has a lot of detail or a lot of text, we would recommend that you use 2D for your lapel pin or coin. We find text becomes much clearer when raised flat rather than on a curve. If you are planning to use colored enamel on your lapel pin or coin, we urge you to use 2D since the mold will be able to hold the enamel color.

3D Metal

antique silver 3D coin

Features of 3D Metal

If 2D is raised like a building, think of 3D as a hillside. We raise the metal by a gradual curve up and a gradual curve down back to the base of your lapel pin or coin. We get more depth by having additional layering that can’t be done with a 2D mold. That’s why 3D metals are more expensive than anything in 2D since we have to work with more material to bring the 3D coins and keychains to life.

When to Use 3D

3D makes the metal appear far thicker and more rounded than 2D metal. So anything that feels alive, like a person or an animal, works great for 3D metal. 3D metal is also ideal for a design if you want to use antique plating. The brushed finish of antique plating really helps the additional layers on a 3D design stand out overall. If you are making a larger design, that also leaves you room to create with the idea of making your custom keychain or coin in 3D. You can use color on a 3D keychain, but only if you use it more as a background that isn’t on the elements you are planning to make 3D. This is because when we make the 3D mold the enamel will simply run off of the raised elements of your design.