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How to go about collecting challenge coins

How to Go About Collecting Challenge Coins

Challenge coin collecting is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the United States. Challenge coins are specially minted coins created for military units, private organizations, clubs, or even the individual. These coins bear the insignia of the organizations and are often given away to members as a token of appreciation.
As challenge coins are mostly custom designed, one can expect to find a wide variety of challenge coins. Obviously, rare challenge coins with popular and unique designs are worth more.
The process of creating a challenge coin works something like this. First, a designer comes up with the artwork for the challenge coin. The artwork is then sent to the coin mint for production. But before that happens, several details have to be ironed out.
You will have to decide on the type of plating to use, the edging, and the type of art.
For plating, you can choose to have your coins produced in brass, antique gold, high polished gold, antique silver, high polished nickel, two-tone and micro sandblasting. Each type of plating will affect the general appearance of your coins. For example, if you have simple artwork, perhaps high polished nickel will look nice. But you may also have to take into consideration whether the plating is vulnerable to scratches.
For edging, you can choose to have no edging at all (a rather common choice), twisted diamond cut, flat diamond cut, rope, scalloped, cross diamond cut and more. Usually, you will be able to find pictures on a coin mint website. Note that edging costs extra. So unless it enhances the overall look of your coins and you have the budget for it, you may wish to produce coins with no edging.
Depending on your art, different molds may be produced. For instance, you can choose to have your coins produced in 2D art, 3D art, or have them in odd shapes. You may have to spend a little time understanding the difference between each type of art for the coins. For example, if you want to paint your coins, you cannot choose 3D art. For 3D art, all the details are already incorporated in the coin.
Of course, the last thing you have to consider is the pricing. Pricing is affected by various factors. Your choice of edging, plating and art has a big part to play. Also, if you are just going to order one coin, it’s going to cost more as well. The more coins you order, the less you will have to pay per coin. But keep in mind that challenge coins can become more valuable over time if they are rare. If too many coins are being circulated, the value of each coin declines.
Also, the majority of coin mints in the United States do not produce coins domestically. This is due to stringent regulations that have greatly increased the cost of coin production. The production process is thus outsourced to other countries like China. As a consumer, this means that you will still be able to order custom challenge coins at affordable prices.

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