Challenge Coins Becoming Increasingly Popular at Auto Shows

Auto shows are not only enjoyable for the family, but they are also excellent promotional outlets for businesses and organizations. While auto show enthusiasts enjoy seeing first hand some of the most luxurious and classic cars ever driven, companies look to promote their brand, product, or service to the large crowd. One such means of promotion that has grown exponentially in popularity in recent years is the use of custom challenge coins.

Having originated in the military to build morale and promote team building within each unit, challenge coins have since become a collector’s item and an advertising medium. It is the combination of their popularity and promotional effectiveness that makes challenge coins a logical item for distribution at auto shows.

Combining Popularity with Effective Promotion

Companies are able to take advantage of the fact that most auto show attendees will be enthralled with the idea of taking home some kind of souvenir item that commemorates their attendance at the show. Challenge coins are naturally appealing to consumers and collectors alike due to their ideal size, attractive look and low pricing. They are easy to store, and make for a terrific display piece.

Designing Challenge Coins for Auto Shows

Challenge coins customized by companies specifically for auto shows generally featured a unique design on each of its two sides. One side of the challenge coins always features some kind of picture or text relevant to the actual show. The most commonly used looks for this side include any of the following:

• The auto show logo
• A visual of a classic or luxurious car
• The date and location of the show
• A combination of the mention items

There are two main reasons as to why companies designate one side of their promotional challenge coins to the auto show instead of using both sides for advertising purposes. These reasons are:

• Popularity: Consumers will want a coin that can serve as a keepsake. They want an item that represents the show itself. Much like how bread, caramel and even tobacco companies have used the images of baseball players on cards to promote their product, companies use auto-show related images and text on customized challenge coins in a similar fashion.
• Greater Distribution: The main goal for companies using challenge coins at auto shows is to get their coins to as many people as possible. One of the easiest and most efficient ways of doing that is to have the auto-show promoters distribute the coins themselves throughout the event. They will be far more likely to assist in distribution if the challenge coin features the auto show logo on one of its sides.

Because one side of the challenge coins is dedicated to commemorating the auto show, companies have to maximize their space on the flip side. They may wish to customize their design with the following:

• Company logo and contact information
• Advertising slogan for a product or service
• A picture of the actual product

Evaluating the Design Options for Auto Show Challenge Coin

Each of the three popular design options is effective in their own right. Which of the three a company opts to use largely depends on their intended purpose of the coins.

For companies looking to bolster their brand name and increase overall exposure to the company as a whole, the logo and contact information option would be ideal. The logo may intrigue the recipient of the coin, who will then visit the listed website for more information.

For those businesses that are looking to market a general product or service, an advertising slogan may be the best option. Challenge coins featuring this design usually coincide with some other sort of advertising medium, be it TV, online ads, or billboards. If a company intends to market a single product that can be purchased in stores, they may wish to use an actual picture or 3D image of the product itself to raise awareness.

Your automotive organization can get all the information you need and more by visiting

Naval Aviation Milestone

Naval Aviation celebrates 100 years in 2011 and here at Custom Challenge Coins, we would like to recognize these true hero’s that make up this elite group of service men and women; The Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard.

Thank you to the Sailors, Marines and the Coast Guard men and women for using for your coin needs. We would also like to thank you for your immeasurable sacrifice to serve and protect. As we reflect upon the accomplishments of this first class maritime force we will discover that from the first landing of a plane onto a ship by Eugene B. Ely to the the first crossing of the Atlantic, to the War in Iraq, many milestone have been made possible due to the superior training, unrelenting bravery, and volunteered personal sacrifice that keeps our homeland secure and its occupants safe. We are honored to provide military coins for such an elite group of men and women. As we honor all service men and women deployed around the world we must also honor all who have ever been a part of this truly selfless, elite group of men and women whom many have sacrificed their lives to protect our freedom at home and to help spread freedom abroad.

The Celebrations and Honoring kicked off this year in San Diego with what was said to be the largest military parade since WWII. Many events are scheduled around the country, and we suggest that all attend as many of these truly awesome events as they can so that we can show our gratitude and appreciation for all that has been sacrificed to protect us in the past, the present, and for future generations. If you are unable to attend any of these centennial events, be sure to give thanks to all you know who have been a part of Naval Aviation’s history and Naval Aviation current service men and women.

Bravo Zulu to all who have ever and will ever be part of Naval Aviation’s support in war-time and in peace time. God Bless and Thank You!

Numbering Your Custom Challenge Coins

Challenge coins today are issued or presented in a number of unique settings. While the coin itself is a treasured reminder of a certain event, actually numbering your coins can make each recipient feel special about the coin they receive. A number appearing on the face, or edge, of each coin lets the person know they are one of only a select number of people to receive this unique item.

Numbered Custom Challenge Coins

Edge numbering adds a unique aspect to your custom coins.

Numbering can also be helpful in setting a certain group of people apart from another. If you have selected guests of honor or recipients of a particular award you may choose to number the coins given to these people as a way of distinguishing their special place, accomplishment, or membership order. They can also be used as an authorization piece, or passkey, to a meeting when they are sequentially numbered. This concept even saves paper as a benefit to the environment.

Custom coins can be numbered in several different ways. First, a series number can be stamped or silk screened to the face (front or back) of each coin. This placement makes the numbering stand out allowing it to be a large part of the coin’s character. Second, the numbers can be placed along the side edge of the coin. Engraving numbering on the edge of coins is preferable if the design is highly complex and takes up the majority of space on the face of the coin. It also allows the design of the coin to be the main focal point as opposed to a number added to the face of the coin.

Sequential numbering can be added in various formats. Some people may choose to simply have the number of that particular coin displayed on the object itself. Others may want the coin’s place in a series to be obvious. In this situation the number can be placed in front of the word “of” or in front of a backslash. Following either of these characters is the total number of coins in the series.

Challenge coins serve many different purposes, but are always treasured no matter the circumstance. Numbering can increase their personal value as well as compliment the overall design.

Widespread Use of Challenge Coins

So much has been written about the history of Challenge Coins and there is a huge collection of literature retelling the story of how the challenge coin became popular during the first World War. For decades, it has been an extremely significant part of the US military’s tradition. The coins are a symbol of “esprit de corps” and unit identity and a source of pride for military personnel. As the years go on, they also served as a recognition award for the exceptional and outstanding service that any military personnel provided for his country.

The long-standing tradition is still being carried today but it has extended well beyond the military units. The value and principles of military challenge coins have been borrowed by different sectors of the society who admires the well-defined history of it. Sharing and promoting the tradition of custom challenge coins has been extended to:

• College Campus Groups (Greek)
• J/ROTC Units
• Scout Troops
• Church Congregations
• Various Clubs

• Professional and Amateur Sports Teams
• Professional Associations
• Municipal Chambers of Commerce
• Social Groups
• Charitable Organizations
• Specialized Business Departments
• Firefighters & Law Enforcement

Unique Rewards

Registering several hundred new members each year, and spread out through New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and beyond, the Easy Rider Northeast and Groundhog Travelers of New Jersey has also utilized challenge coins as part of their club’s reward system. They are awarded to a member who has made outstanding and exemplary accomplishments with regard to community service and outreach. These outstanding members who will receive the customized challenge coins will serve as an inspiration and model to other members. This prestigious coin is presented by the founding member, George K. Meister of Garden City, NJ.

This piece is designed with a matte copper plating and 53.6 mm in size and several millimeters thick. It is crafted from alloy metals with the front side bearing the logo of the group. The coin is also engraved with the year “2001” in which the club was formed. Its back reveals the widely known slogan together with its local originating creed, “From Across Great Divides – Help is Offered.”

Fine Arts

Making its mark in the history and embracing the tradition, the Chesapeake Teen Choir was among the US’s first public school organization to provide challenge coins for all its musicians, volunteers, and staff which happened sometime in 1999 after a grant was given to the City of Chesapeake, Virginia. This tradition continues today.

Well-Known Clubs

Another recreational club, in 1998, created their own challenge coins and made it available to their members. The name of this club is none other than the Grand Elks. The owners and members of the this club feel that they are serving the same purpose of sharing a special bond and serving the nation with pride. The coin has been part of the Elks member’s tribute to the people who have been unselfishly serving the local communities. Unlike that of other coins, Elk’s coins can be purchased by anyone at a cost of $18. The finish is made to order at 41mm size. The base material is made up of bronze. Its design is “stamped” with the Elk logo and on the back of the coin displays the national creed.

Today, custom coins have been also used by many non-profit organizations in their fund-raising events. They realize that its popularity will help them raise funds which they will use for projects intended to help certain veterans groups. Others have ventured into the business of collecting and selling them on notable auction sites. They know that this idea will be a click in the market since the demand for this type of business has been increasing already. Aside from the organizations, clubs and corporations who utilize them as part of their rewards system, there are also many individuals who are getting hooked in collecting older custom coins. In fact, their business has even expanded to offering coin collectors an individual coin holder with an acrylic finish and also some wood display cases to properly show and protect their collections.

Are They Expensive?

It is really not that expensive to create, design, and manufacture challenge coins. Currently, the typical cost of manufacturing each is about US$3.00 to $4.00 per coin depending on options and quantity. Most companies, including us, offer professional design service which is done by those trained in computer graphic arts. It is the initial rendering by such artists that can make or break a finished coin.


Basically, custom challenge coins are processed with either die struck bronze or zinc alloy injected metals. The difference between the two is the cost and quality of the material. The Zinc alloy is somewhat cheaper than the Die struck Bronze however in terms of quality, the former is relatively good but the latter renders a higher and superior quality. With Zinc alloy, it would not be recommended to be carried as a pocket coin as the base metal gets easily exposed because the patina finish wears off easily. If the coin will only be displayed then Zinc alloy would already be a good material to use. For those who want a better quality and are willing to spend more then they should go for Die struck Bronze.

facebook twitter rss gplus
Directory Downloads Payment Options
Please inquire about additional payment options available.