Custom Challenge Coins

Custom challenge coins are awarded for many reasons throughout branches of the military, across fire and police academies, in various athletic associations, and more, and have value far beyond the quality of the metals and materials used within. 

custom challenge coins

Challenge Coin Company

The Monterey Company has been a challenge coin maker and industry’s leader with the armed forces, police, and fire academy coins for nearly thirty years, creating quality, professional, and official products that you can’t find anywhere else. Combining the years of experience of skilled artists and designers with the best equipment and materials in the industry, your creation will be worthy of giving them out with pride. Like all of the products we offer, they are highly customizable, with a variety of materials and styles to choose from, ensuring your insignia is represented in the best way possible.

Quality Military Coin Designs

When you send us your insignia or use a previously ordered logo, our artists will work with you to begin customizing your complimentary proof with the specific variations you seek. We will make suggestions based on which materials lend themselves the best, and offer assistance throughout the entirety of the decision-making process.

custom made challenge coin with eagle
custom iraqi freedom coin

What does it mean to get a military challenge coin?

What does it mean to be given a challenge coin? They are used to award someone of an honorable act or job well done, Once gifted, they are meant to be carried indefinitely, representing membership and allegiance to the organization from which it came. They are growing in popularity amongst organizations, businesses, and fraternities and clubs. 

What are They? They are small, ornate medallions. They are adorned with the insignia of the organization or club they represent, are gifted to members for commemorating membership, promoting camaraderie, and boosting morale. They are given throughout branches of the military, law enforcement, and other organizations. 

These medals commemorate the achievement and special events, 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, taking on nuanced social relevance, turning them into what they are today.

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 from every branch of the armed forces including orders for police, firefighters, navy, army, air force, and marine corps.

Designing Military Coins

Upon your approval of your proof, sent to you at no charge, we will begin creating the mold that will be used in our die-struck method of coin making. Once the mold is made, we will either send you a sample of your creation, per your request, or we will begin the production process. Once production begins, you can expect your products to be beautifully crafted and shipped within 2-3 weeks. This time will vary per project the materials required, and the quantity of the order. We have many options to choose from including color options and a variety of plating options.

Custom Made Challenge Coins

Some of these decisions or variations available when thinking about your custom made challenge coin are whether you want your base metal to be in bronze or copper. The material you choose will affect the weight, look, and feel of your overall product, as well as affect the cost of your order. You’ll also want to choose whether or not to add enamel color. With access to an impressive selection of colors, with everything from forest green to fire engine red, we are capable of matching the scheme of your artwork with absolute preciseness. Of course, multiple colors are available as our products are created by hand and are mostly limitless.

dog tag shaped coin Iraqi freedom

Personalized For The Armed Forces

Traditionally, they have been used by the armed forces and now used by law enforcement. Armed Forces have been awarding them for things that were worthy of special recognition. Companies use them as morale boosters as well to commemorate special events. Circular and rectangular shapes have evolved with many companies into creating shapes that are unusual including bottle openers. Bottle openers are especially helpful in the field when you need to open a soda or a beer. We also make dog tags that can include your logo.

hand holding a scull coin

Challenge Coin Maker

Other options include the type of finish you’d like, including antique or glossy varieties, base metal and edge textures, and finishing options, like adding epoxy. Because of the multitude of customizable options, and because we value your customer experience, we encourage you to work with a member of our talented staff in creating your logo, as different variations work best with specific materials and processes. We will include in every step of the way and will ensure you get exactly the product you’re looking for and make the ordering process simple.

Our process makes it easy for our customers to order

  1. We’ll work with you to create an original design or we can customize a pre-existing idea you may have. We are full of experienced staff that can provide you with suggestions to enhance or modify your design as needed in order to ensure that your art is perfectly suited for production.
  2. Once you approve a final design, the mold is die-struck into thick bronze or copper. Both sides are struck at the same time, then electroplated, sandblasted and polished.
  3. Production time varies depending on the style you choose. However, it normally takes between 2 to 3 weeks to create your final product.

Need More Information?

Request A Quote and We Speak To Your Dedicated Account Manager  

custom challenge coins on a bar

What Are Used For?

Carried by members of the military, police and fire department. They are made for challenges and to enhance the morale of the recipients. In addition, they are also highly collected by the military.

  • To commemorate a mission or celebrate a milestone
  • To build camaraderie in a troop
  • To create a collectible commemorative award

Honoring Achievements For Nearly 100 years

They have been around since the first World War. During that time air warfare was a new concept. Air squadrons were manned by men from all walks of life, unlike earlier wars when the militia was manned from the working class. A lot has changed in the manufacturing process over the decades. Armed personnel that orders them, can have an order manufactured in days. They can be manufactured with soft or hard enamel as well as diamond cut edged and engraving. Epoxy can also be added to protect the enamel color. 3D images can be created one or two-sided.  We are a leading designer and metal worker for every branch of the armed forces.

Government organizations, as well as special interest groups, have them made to commemorate holidays like Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, membership, graduations, accomplishments and many other significant days.  The tradition of giving them out for these reasons increased during the Vietnam War with the Special Forces Units and then spread to others over time.  They didn't become common however until the Persian Gulf war of 1990-1991. President Bill Clinton received coins as a symbol of respect while in office.  He kept the growing collection on display on the credenza in the Oval Office.  The collection now lives at the Clinton Library.

Soft and Hard Enamel

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

What does it mean to be given a challenge coin?

As the story goes, one wealthy lieutenant had a coin created for his squadron as a memento of their service together. One of the soldiers, never having had anything of value in his life, became so attached to it that he took to wearing it in a pouch around his neck for safekeeping. It ended up saving his life after being captured behind enemy lines. When the French took the German camp all he had to identify himself as an ally was the squadron medal. Thus began the carrying one’s squadron medal at all times for recognition and identification. Today, they are given out for morale-boosting, rewards and awards.

They made today to recognize exceptional acts of service or merit that don’t quite meet the standards necessary for receiving official merit-based medals, like the medal of honor. Instead, used to acknowledge achievements worthy of recognition that would otherwise go un-commemorated. Products of this nature are commonly awarded through a handshake, in which it is passed from the awarder’s hand to the awardee. In this exchange, it is customary for the person gifting them to offer a brief explanation, articulating the reasons why the recipient is worthy of the gifted medallion. 

In addition to the widespread use across academies, is the increasing use with organizations like NASCAR and the NFL to university fraternities and Eagle Scouts, gifting custom medallions is a growing tradition.

canadian International rescue coin
custom shaped military challenge coin

They show affiliation and the tradition has now become part of NASCAR, the NFL, and the World Series Of Poker.  Law enforcement departments across the country are using them as well. We are known for our superb quality and artistry in creating 3D molds. We are so proud to be part of this growing trend. It's exciting that the trend is now crossing borders. Canadian Forces are now giving awards to new officer cadets that graduate from the Royal Military College. What was once known to them as an 'Americanism,' is now a growing tradition as well.  Other countries, such as Switzerland, are also beginning to pick up the spirit by having different branches create their own designs.

We have low minimum quantities and fast production times and we give all of our customers the best quality, best prices, and top-notch customer service.

Custom Military Coins

Created with color in any shape or size and we can create 3d molds for those complicated-looking images. They can be manufactured for squadrons, units, and battalions for a myriad of reasons. Commemorating a particular event or tour, build camaraderie in a group, create a piece of collectible commemorative art, celebrate milestones or signify affiliation or membership in a unit or squadron.

The U.S. Navy, Air Force, Marines, Army, and Coast Guard have been ordering products from us for many years. We have created orders for EMS, fire and police departments from around the country, as well as for many agencies abroad. Used to boost morale and give rewards and awards and they are treasured by those who receive them.

Air Force

Air Force coins will normally bear the emblem of a particular squadron. As custom commands, affiliates of a particular squadron carry the coin in order to prove membership when challenged. We can help you create a unique Squadron artwork with impressive 3D detailing. All you need to do is provide us with a photograph of the aircraft you want to represent you and our artists will bring it to life. Be sure to check out our gallery to see examples of our past work.

air force military Coins
custom made 67th signal coins

Army

Army coins are specialized bearing the insignia or emblem of a particular squadron or unit of the U.S. Army. The significance pertains to a legend dating back to World War I. So strong is the resulting tradition that, nearly a century later, military personnel habitually carry their awards with them.

Marine Corps

When you want to recognize a member of the United States Marine Corps, a USMC coin is a commemorative way to do it. This sophisticated message of pride and commendation is communicated through an ornate and well-crafted piece that will be treasured for a lifetime.

Designs are made for the Marines and are the highest caliber available. We tirelessly keep to this standard because we know that superior quality is the only way to honor the achievements of an enlistee or officer of the Marine Corps.

National Guard

The National Guard coins are made with and with color and epoxy finish. We take great pride in providing a small service to those who live their daily lives in service.

Coast Guard

We offer the highest quality products and a knowledgeable and friendly sales team. We have been making design for the Coast Guard for nearly 30 years.

national guard coins with red flag and star
custom designed navy coins

Navy

Memorialize your vessel and your unit by creating a uniquely designed and crafted custom navy coin. By creating a small sculptural token containing the mottos and insignia that remind you of your company and your dedication, you can memorialize your navy experience. We also make navy seal coins.

hands holding challenge coins

Challenge Coin History

Challenge coins come from the idea that if you are a member of an organization from which you receive a specialized medallion to demonstrate affiliation, that the medallion you’ve been awarded should be kept with you at all times. This history originated from an American World War 1 pilot, who was saved by wearing his squadron’s medal around his neck when he was captured by a German patrol, and consequently, stripped of his formal identification. After being moved to a small French town, the American escaped and was able to prove his affiliation with the American military to the French allies because of the coin in the pouch hanging from his neck.

To commemorate the significance of carrying the life-saving medallion, recipients of these tokens are liable to “challenge” any of their brothers and sisters of service by producing their respective coins at random, checking to see if the other members of their branches or academies are also carrying their them.

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 tradition of wearing organizational affiliation with pride, because one’s membership within their group, as demonstrated by carrying them, is woven into the fabric of one’s identity.

Send us your sketch and we will create a proof for your review and approval. You can make changes to your art at any time at no cost and we will make a suggestion on adding epoxy, brilliant color, and 3D areas to enhance your insignia.