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How to make a challenge coin for the US military
A challenge coin for the US military starts out as a soft iron blank which the design is machined into. Then it is flame hardened to make it durable for many strikes that will be needed to produce the coins and still retain the fine details of the die.
Our coins are struck with a 5 ton press to get the details deeply imbedded into the coin blank. The die is coated with a lubricant so the die lasts longer. After being struck the coins are finished by sandblasting and or polishing, then colors are added and the gold or nickel plating is applied last.
The coins are usually die struck in pure bronze which is used for its malleability and durability after striking.
These coins attain a deeply finer detail than die cast coins. Die casting is not as accurate a means of keeping the smaller details clear and crisp, a die struck coin can have smaller finer details in the basic design.
Die struck military coins are sought after by collectors from all on the US Military, soldiers, sailors and airmen collect challenge coins and trade then too. And now more and more private civilian collectors are popping up online and in the auctions. The popularity of military challenge coins is growing every year.
US Military men and women are awarded a coin when they complete training or mission these are normally given by the commanders and are sometimes called commanders coins. Coins given for achievement or recognition are treasured by the men and women in uniform, and are not normally traded or given away.