Custom Challenge Coins

Challenge coins are used in different branches of the military. They are used for everything from fire academies and law enforcement to athletic associations and more. These coins have a sentimental value that is much higher than the actual cost. Request a quote from our team today and experience the value for yourself.

custom challenge coins

Challenge Coin Company

Why work with us? For nearly thirty years, The Monterey Company has been a challenge coin maker and industry leader. We provide coins for the armed forces, law enforcement, and fire academy. We have years of experience, a skilled team of designers, and the best equipment and materials available. As a result, we produce quality, professional products that you can’t find anywhere else. Like all of our products, our custom challenge coins can be made with many different materials and styles. This allows you to create a coin that is even better than what you imagined.

Quality Military Coin Designs

Don't have much skill when it comes to coin design? No problem! Work with our artists to request a quote and begin your digital proof. First, send us your artwork or use an existing logo. Then, we will send you a free proof made to your exact specifications. Our customer service team is available to walk you through the entire process. We will provide recommendations to bring your design to life.

coin with eagle
custom iraqi freedom coin

What does it mean to get one?

Custom challenge coins are usually given as an award for an honorable act or a job well done. Once they’ve been given out, they are supposed to be carried at all times. This allows recipients to show membership or allegiance to your organization. They are quickly growing in popularity! They can be used for businesses, fraternities, clubs, and many other organizations. Custom coins can be manufactured in many shapes and sizes and enamel finishes.

How can custom challenge coins benefit your business? These medals commemorate the achievement and special events. They also encourage camaraderie and promote the togetherness within their respective communities. And although they have been around for many years, they have evolved in recent years. Now, they are taking on nuanced social relevance. That is what has turned them into the special, and highly-valued coin they are today.

Usually, challenge coins are small and ornate medallions or tokens. First, they are decorated with the insignia or logo of the organization that designed them. Then, they are gifted to members when they join to promote camaraderie and boost morale. These quality coins are also used to mark special occasions and to build a bond between people in different communities. They have existed for many years, but the tradition has evolved. They’ve recently become much more popular.

At the Monterey Company, we offer a quote and free proofs for your approval. All we need to get started is your idea. Got a big project? No problem. We’ve worked with every branch of the armed forces. This includes the police, firefighters, Navy, Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps. As leaders in the industry, we have the skills needed to help you develop your quality product.

defender of freedom coin
customized scythe coin
duty officer coin
back cross emblem coin

We offer free design proofs. All we need is your insignia and any design ideas you may have. We receive new and repeat orders for challenge coins from every branch of the armed forces. This includes orders for the police, firefighters, navy, army, air force, and marine corps.

Designing Military Challenge Coins

How does the process work? First, you will review and approve your free proof. Then, we will create the mold we need to produce your die-struck coin. Once the mold is made, we will make and send you a sample of your design to make sure it’s exactly what you want. From there, we will begin production for your full order. This process usually takes between two and three weeks. But, the time varies based on the size, materials, and creation of your custom challenge coin.
 
When you’re creating your military challenge coins, there are many ways you can customize the design. We offer many different colors and plating options so your military insignia will be totally unique. First, choose from bronze or copper for your base metal. This decision will affect the weight, cost, and feel of your final product. Then, you can choose if you’d like enamel finish on your logo. Ready to add color? We have a wide range of colors, from forest green to fire engine red. This allows us to match any color scheme or logo.
dog tag shaped coin Iraqi freedom

Personalized For The Armed Forces

The armed forces and law enforcement have been using challenge coins for years. In the military, they award military coins for things that deserve special recognition. Many companies use them to boost morale or to mark special events. We provide a variety of different shapes to choose from. Shapes can range from traditional styles, like circular or rectangular. Or you can choose more specialized shapes, like bottle openers or dog tags.

hand holding a scull coin

Challenge Coin Maker

Are you looking for the best challenge coin maker? We have three decades of experience working with countless companies. We can help you develop the perfect custom challenge coins for your business needs. That’s why we have every type of finish you may need for your logo. This includes antique, glossy, or epoxy finishes. We also have textured patterns for base metals and edges. Because we have so many options, we encourage you to work with our team of designers. They help make this process simple and easy. They know the best styles, materials, and combinations to use to give you the best quality final product.

Our process makes it easy for our customers to order

You can create your custom design from scratch or add tweaks to one of our existing designs. Our experienced staff can enhance or modify your design as needed. We will make sure that your artwork is perfectly prepared for the production process.
 

Once you’ve approved the design, we’ll create the mold. The coins are die-struck on both sides at the same time. Then, they are electroplated, sandblasted, and polished to complete the coin. It takes about two and three weeks for the production process and shipping before you get your final proof. If you need your order sooner, let us know and we will try our best to accommodate a rush order.

Need More Information?

Request a quote or speak to your dedicated Account Manager. We offer free art design and unlimited revisions.

custom challenge coins on a bar

What Are Used For?

Challenge coins are used to:

  • To commemorate a mission or to celebrate a milestone.
  • To build camaraderie in a troop.
  • To create a collectible commemorative award.
Challenge coins are carried as proud symbols by members of the military, police, and fire department to show their membership. The coins are made as a reward for challenges or to enhance the morale of team members. They’re also highly coveted among members of the military.

Honoring Achievements For Nearly 100 years

Custom challenge coins have been given out since the first World War. During that time, air warfare was very new. Air squadrons were made up of men from many different walks of life — not just the working class. During this time, challenge coins were created and began to pick up in popularity.
 
Since then, the process of manufacturing coins has changed dramatically. How is this possible? We use hard or soft enamel, diamond-cut edges, engraving, and other specialized processes. As a manufacturer, we can also create three-dimensional images, add epoxy, and created double-sided designs. We’re proud to have worked with every branch of the armed forces to create their coins.

Government organizations and special interest groups also use coins to commemorate holidays and occasions. This includes Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, graduations, accomplishments, and more. During the Vietnam War, the tradition grew tremendously. This happened as more members of the special forces were rewarded for acts of honor. They become even more popular during the Persian Gulf War in 1990. President Bill Clinton was given challenge coins as a symbol of respect. He kept his growing collection on display in the Oval Office. Because of the added attention, the popularity of custom made coins skyrocketed. President Clinton’s historic collection is now on display at the Clinton Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Soft and Hard Enamel

3D challenge coin with engraving
coin with two elk
horses on commander coin

What does it mean to be given a challenge coin?

Challenge coins became a tradition by accident. As the story goes, a rich lieutenant had a coin created for his squadron as a memento of their service together during World War I. One of the soldiers, who had never owned anything valuable before, became so attached to the challenge coin that he began wearing it in a pouch around his neck for safekeeping. The same soldier was later captured behind enemy lines and was taken captive by the Germans. As the war neared its end and the French took over the German camp, the soldier used his challenge coin to identify himself as an ally. This saved his life! This one small act began the tradition of carrying your squadron metal for identification. And today the practice has evolved to be broader. Now, military coins are also used to represent rewards and recognition.
How are custom challenge coins used? They are often used for achievements that don’t meet the official standards for merit-based metals, like the Medal of Honor. When the coins are awarded, they are often passed through a handshake from the awarder to the awardee. During this exchange, it’s customary for the person gifting the coin to explain the reasons why the recipient is worthy of this symbolic achievement.
 
In addition to the widespread use across branches of the military, the use of challenge coins is also increasing among organizations. The tradition of gifting coins continues to grow and to new areas. These areas include NASCAR, the NFL, university fraternities, law enforcement, and Eagle Scouts.
canadian International rescue coin
custom shaped military challenge coin
At the Monterey Company, we are known for our top-notch quality and artistry when we create our coins. We’re proud to be part of this growing trend that is even starting to cross international borders. In fact, Canadian Forces have begun handing out challenge coins. They give them to new officers graduating from the Royal Military College. Other countries, like Switzerland, have also begun creating their own coins as well.
 
For each project, we offer low minimum quantities, quick production times, and fast shipping. This ensures that all of our customers can get their products on time and within their budget. Work with our talented customer service team to request a quote and get started today.

Custom Military Coins

At the Monterey Company, we can create your custom challenge coin in any shape, size, or color. The best part? We can even make three-dimensional logos to really bring them to life. We will work together to manufacture coins for your squadron, unit, or battalion to mark any occasion. No matter your need, we can create the perfect coin for you. Use your coins to commemorate an event or tour. They are also great to build camaraderie. Your quality coins can even create a piece of collectible art. This can help you and your organization feel even more connected.
 
The U.S. Navy, Air Force, Marines, Army, and Coast Guard have been ordering products from us for many years. We’ve also created designs for EMS, fire, and police departments from across the country and abroad. These coins are used to boost morale, promote excellence, and give rewards. One thing is for sure, challenge coins are always treasured by those who receive them.
air force military Coins

Air Force

Air Force challenge coins usually feature the icon of a specific squadron. Based on the tradition, members of that squadron carry the coin to prove their membership if needed. We can help you create a unique coin with your squadron’s artwork or with impressive three-dimensional detailing. All you need to get started is a photograph of the aircraft you want to feature, and our artists can bring it to life. Do you need inspiration for your challenge coin design? Check out our gallery for examples of our past work.

custom made 67th signal coins

Army

Army coins showcase the insignia or emblem of a squadron or unit of the U.S. Army. When did the tradition of army coins begin? The significance of challenge coins dates back to a legend from World War I. This created a strong tradition. So strong, that even a century later military members still carry their coins with them every day!

custom designed navy coins

Navy

Navy members or Navy Seals can memorialize their vessel or unit with a unique custom-crafted challenge coin. The small token can also feature mottos, emblems, or insignia. This helps remind you of your company, your service, and your Navy experience.

national guard coins with red flag and star

National Guard

Our National Guard challenge coins can be made with either color or epoxy finish. We have been developing their designs for decades. We take great pride in providing a high-quality service to those who have dedicated their lives to serving our country.

Coast Guard

We have been making a design for the Coast Guard for nearly 30 years. Along with our knowledgeable and friendly team, we make sure we offer only the highest quality products.

Marine Corps

When you want to recognize a member of the United States Marine Corps, a challenge coin is a great way to do it. Spread the Marine Corps’ message of pride and honor through a beautiful and well-crafted piece. It is sure to be treasured forever. Our designs made for the Marines are only the highest quality. We work hard to maintain our standards. We know that top-tier quality is the only way to honor a Marine's service and achievements.

Challenge Coin History

hands holding coins
How have challenge coins been used in history? Custom challenge coins let members of different organizations have a special medallion that shows their affiliation. This special medallion should be kept with you at all times, so you can always prove that you are a member if needed. This tradition began in World War I after an American pilot was saved because he was wearing his squadron’s metal around his neck. The American soldier was captured by German soldiers and stripped of his formal identification. He was then moved to a small French town where he escaped from his German captors. Without his formal identification, he was still able to show his affiliation with the American troops because of the coin hanging around his neck.
 
To honor the significance of this life-saving medallion, people who receive these coins can “challenge” any of their fellow service members to produce their own coins randomly. If any members of the squadron or team don’t have their coin, they fail the “challenge,” and are responsible for buying a round of drinks for everyone else. If the challenge is met and the member has their coin, the challenger must buy a round of drinks. This is a fun and modern tradition to honor the history of wearing your organization’s emblem with pride. It also shows that membership in a group becomes a part of who you are.
If any members of the squadron or team are unable to produce their coin, therefore failing the “challenge,” they are responsible for buying a round of drinks for everyone appropriately carrying their medallions on their person. If the challenge is met, however, and everyone within the group is able to produce their metal symbol of honor, the challenger, or the person who initially bore his medallion, must buy a round of drinks for his counterparts. This is a fun way to honor the history of wearing organizational affiliation with pride. Your membership within a group, as demonstrated by carrying a challenge coin, is woven into the fabric of your identity.

Start Today with Your Free Proof

Get started creating your challenge coin today! Send us your sketch and work with our team of designers to bring your vision to life. From there, we will create a proof of your design for your review and approval. You can also make changes to your art at any time. We offer this at no additional cost. And we can make suggestions on how to add epoxy, vibrant colors, and three-dimensional details, and more. We do our best to enhance your final product. As a company that specializes in challenge coins, we take your ideas and transform them into quality coins you will be proud to hand out.
 
With our years of experience and our team’s expertise, we’ve made the whole process easier than ever before. We understand your needs and know the best approach and techniques to bring your vision to life.
Our process can be broken down into three simple steps.
  1. Artwork & Design: Use your organization’s logo or a special piece of art to represent your shared bond.
  2. Digital Proof: Once you’ve decided on your final design, we will share with you a digital proof. You can make updates and revisions as you see fit to make sure it’s exactly what you’re looking for.
  3. Production and Shipping: First, you will receive your sample. Second, you'll approve of your proof. Lastly, we will start the production process for your customized order, and ship it right to you.
 
We’ve been creating challenge coins since 1989. Over the years, we’ve refined our skills and our process to make sure you have the best possible experience. Our high-quality materials and talented artists bring your customized design to life. Reach out to our customer service team today to begin the exciting process. Share your artwork and our art department will get back to you as soon as possible with a quote and free digital proof to get started.