Ultimate Roundup: Choosing The Best Challenge Coin Company

Ultimate Roundup: Choosing The Best Challenge Coin Company

U.S Air Force Photo by 2nd Lt. David Murphy

Challenge coins are among the most prized and nostalgic military gifts or memorabilia out there. Service members love this neat and nifty little piece of art because of the symbolic value it represents. These coins are the most gifted among military service members but they are now increasing in popularity in the civilian world too.

What To Look For In A Challenge Coin?

Being an avid lover of challenge coins myself and holding quite a few in my collection, I find the following traits are most relevant:

  • Original Artwork. A challenge coin is supposed to be a scared piece of art. The maker should take time to create a unique and impressionable design that captures the essence of the event. Few key events for presenting challenge coins are Basic training graduation, PCS, Post-deployment, Retirement, and as Awards or commendation by a commander.
  • Material. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say there are a variety of options to choose from. From zinc alloy (cheaper) to bronze (expensive), each material has its own pros and cons. Although, this normally doesn’t matter to the recipient, what they will surely appreciate is the luster and texture of the coin. Generally, premium metals like Gold, silver, or bronze are better in both of these properties.
  • Longevity. This depends on the material and the craftsmanship of the maker. Again the premium metals fare much better than the cheaper alternatives. These will stand the test of time and can be passed through generations as an heirloom.
  • Relief. This is the type of artwork done on the coin. A 3D relief gives the look of the work being sculpted into the coin. This definitely looks way cooler than flat 2D relief coins but also raises its price.
  • Personal touch. This is a bonus point and will add additional oomph to the coin. Embedding the name of the recipient is ALWAYS preferable if you have the budget. Other acts of personalizing the coin maybe an Event name or date.
  • Presentable. Being small in size doesn’t mean that they should be handled like quarters. Encasing them in a nice velvet box, coin capsule, or as a wall portrait will kick its presentation up several notches.

How To Tell If A Challenge Coin Company Is Good Enough?

If you are reading this, you must be looking to select the best challenge coin company there is. Because of the surge in popularity, we have quite a few companies making these coins, but there are a few that stand above the rest.

You must be thinking of how to evaluate if a challenge coin company is good enough? Here we’ve got you covered and formulated a criterion just for this assessment:

  • Origins & time in business
  • Veteran owned & Made in the USA
  • Challenge coin options
  • Customer satisfaction levels
  • Ease of ordering

8 Best Challenge Coin Companies In The Industry


GS-JJ

www.GS-JJ.com

Origins & Experience.

Based in Los Angeles, CA, this company is an industry giant. GS JJ manufactures everything from lapel pins, patches, medals, wrist bands, challenge coins, and much more.

Veteran ownership & Made in the USA.

Not veteran-owned & not exclusively Made-in-USA. They have partnered with established manufacturers in China who deliver the best bang for your buck.

Challenge coin variety.

Challenge coins are all about customizing your design and GS JJ understands this. They offer two services: fully DIY coin design and Assisted coin design by their in-house professionals.

Ease of ordering.

The best part is the extremely intuitive DIY challenge coin design studio with loads of templates and designs. With tons of pre-made options, anyone can make their custom challenge coin within no time.

Customer reviews.

GS JJ has tons of stellar reviews with 1617 customers rating them as 5 stars. This can be verified by the Shopper-Approved platform.

Verdict.

If you want to design your own custom challenge coin, their DIY challenge coin design studio is one of the best out there.


CustomChallengeCoins.net

Header logo

Origins & Experience.

Customchallengecoins.net is a Texas-based company that started in 2003 that employs veterans and their families. They boast quick response time and promise to deliver the finished product within 14-21 days.

Veteran ownership & Made in the USA. 

CCC employs veterans and their families. This gives them an impressive insight into the customs and needs of the military which makes for a more personalized artwork. They do not specify whether the coins are made in the USA or overseas.

Challenge coin variety.

They fabricate a wide variety of coins for Military, First Responders, Free Masons, and Corporate businesses. All standard coin options including various sizes, reliefs, edge options, etc are available. A detailed coin pricing table is available for the ease of customers.

Customer reviews.

Their repute is backed by Shopper-Approved where 286 customers have rated them as five stars.

Ease of ordering.

customchallengecoins.net, however, does not offer any ready-made coins for quick buys. This is understandable as custom artwork is the soul of any Challenge coin.

Verdict.

Besides getting some awesome challenge coins, If you want to support a veteran assisting business, customchallengecoins.net is a good option.


Signature Coins

signature coins

Origins & Experience.

Signature coins is a Florida based company part of a larger Signature Promotional Group. Founded in 2000, these guys are in business longer than most challenge coin companies.

Veteran ownership.

No evidence of being Veteran founded or Veteran supporting business revealed.

Challenge coin variety.

Signature coins boast an impressive variety of novel challenge coin options; ranging from custom-shapes, bottle openers, spinners, multi-tools, and dog tags, etc. They fabricate coins for the Military, First Responders, Corporate businesses, and anyone really. Their pricing table can be viewed here.

Customer reviews.

This company is rated as five stars by 176 verified customers at Trust pilot. Most customers lauded the easy ordering process and quality of the received product. Their website features hundreds of satisfied corporate customers including many Big names like Facebook, Marvel, KFC.

Ease of ordering.

Signature coins recognizes the despair of first-time customers. Making your own custom challenge coin can be daunting for most of us. That’s why they have published over 73 videos on their dedicated YouTube channel. This is in addition to tons of educational posts they have published which explains the whole process down to every last detail.

Signature coins also do not provide stock challenge coins. Also, there is no online design studio. They do however provide the option of using featured designs in their gallery as a template.

Verdict.

If you want to go with a trusted brand that has been around for a long time and is trusted by big names like Facebook, you should go with Signature coins.


Challenge Coin Company

Challenge Coin

Origins & Experience.

Challenge coin company LLC was established in 1995 by a U.S Veteran COL Vincent A. Zike. He was a challenge coin enthusiast and started this out as a hobby. When his creations were increasingly admired, he turned his passion into a multi-million business. In 2012, CCC was acquired by Ira Green Inc.

Pricing.

Almost all challenge coins were priced within $7.99 which is extremely affordable as compared to other vendors.

Challenge coin variety.

Focuses on Stock pre-made coins. Very comprehensive list of categories for all branches of the military. They cover almost all categories like Anniversary, Awards & badges, Family, Pride, Rank, Retirees & veterans, Schools, War-related, and much more.

Ease of ordering.

Although they have a custom challenge coin ordering option, it is not as intuitive as the other challenge coin companies mentioned here.

Verdict.

If you are looking to save your time and money Challenge coin company is your best bet.


Challenge Coins Ltd

Challenge Coins Limited

Origins & Experience.

Challenge coins Ltd is a South Carolina based company operating since 2011.

Veteran ownership & Made in the USA.

No information regarding Veteran ownership and support can be confirmed from their official website.

The company is focused on providing the most bang for the customer’s buck and thus fabricates all of its coins in China. They say that these models have allowed them to reduce prices significantly and serve their customers better.

Challenge coin variety.

They serve all branches of the military, law enforcement, fire, corporate, sports, and civic groups worldwide. Challenge Coins Ltd only deals with custom made challenge coins and does not offer stock ready-made coins.  

Uniqueness.

They boast the use of brass as a base metal in almost every coin because of its superior quality. This ensures the coins last a lifetime without any significant erosion. Only the odd-shaped ones are made using zinc alloy.

Pricing.

They offer a discount for the Military. Their pricing options can be viewed here.

Customer reviews.

1352 customers at Shopper Approved have rated Challenge Coins Ltd as five stars which are pretty impressive.

Ease of ordering.

Challenge Coins Ltd provides free artwork and will keep doing the changes until the customer is satisfied. The ordering process is pretty straightforward with a form where customers can fill in all the details.

Verdict.

If you are looking for the best quality for the number of dollars spent, Challenge Coins Ltd is a solid bet.


Challengecoins4less

challengecoins4less

Origins & Experience.

Challengecoins4less is a Florida based company that started operating in 2009.

Veteran ownership & Made in the USA.

No information regarding Veteran ownership and support can be confirmed from their official website.

They list the USA made coins as a separate product line saying that you cannot get a better deal than these anywhere. They also do not mention where their coins are fabricated but seeing that the USA made coins are priced at twice the cost of other coins, we can guess that majority of these are made overseas.

Challenge coin variety.

They offer all standard coin options except spinner coins. In addition to challenge coins, the company also offers custom T-shirts, lanyards, patches, and wrist bands.

Pricing.

Their detailed pricing tier can be viewed here.

Customer reviews.

They have a lot of satisfied corporate customers like Microsoft, NASA, AT&T, and many more. No verified customer reviews from Shopper Approved or Trustpilot were found.

Ease of ordering.

The company offers free unlimited art revisions by its professional designers and a low price guarantee.

They offer a simple four-step coin design procedure which starts by a customer sending them an Email and then going back and forth until the design is finalized. Read the details here.

Verdict.

If you are looking to get the best quality Made-in-USA coins for you buck, Challengecoins4less is the way to go.


All About Challenge Coins

allaboutchallengecoins

Origins & Experience.

Started in 2006, The company website does not state its location but we did some digging and found that it’s based in Orlando, FL.

Veteran ownership & Made in the USA.

There is no mention of the company being veteran-owned or supporting them. The coins are manufactured from their factory in China and shipped to the USA.

Challenge coin variety.

They offer all the basic types of coins except spinner or gyro coins. The company also makes bottle openers, dog tags, medallions, and presentations.

Pricing.

The company offers competitive pricing which can be viewed here.

Customer reviews.

Although the company has quite a few testimonials on the website, they have just started collecting customer reviews on Trust Pilot. Currently, AllAboutChallengeCoins has an Excellent rating from these reviews.

Ease of ordering.

AllAboutChallengeCoins has a straight forward four-step coin design procedure which starts by a customer sending them an Email. Then, going back and forth until the design is finalized. Read the details here. You also have the option of uploading your art concept to speed up the process.

Verdict.

If you are looking for a well-rounded company that can make mixed merchandise like dog tags, medallions, and challenge coins around your brand than, AllAboutChallengeCoins is a No brainer.


Vision Strike Coins

vision strike coins

Origins & Experience.

Started in 2015, Vision Strike Coins is based in Portland, OR. These guys are pretty young as compared to the other behemoths on this list but don’t let their age fool you. Theirs is by far one of the most detailed artworks I’ve seen on challenge coins.

Many of the other companies try to appease the whole challenge coin market; not these guys. They specifically make their products for the Military community and explicitly state so. Their passion and commitment is very real and can be felt here.

Veteran ownership & Made in the USA.

Vision strike coins is a veteran-owned company. They have employed veterans from the US Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. Also, these guys make their products 100% in the USA. Both boxes checked.

Vision Strike Coins is truly committed to helping out the Veteran community. One of their initiatives is the Help Heal Our Vets page they’ve started on Facebook. Its purpose is to bring together Non-profits and other philanthropic organizations to help with fundraising and awareness. With almost 4,000 people following this page, it is going strong.

Challenge coin variety.

VSC offers both stock ready-made and custom made challenge coins. They have an impressive collection of coins for all branches of the military. Their categories are easy to navigate and I’m sure you can pretty much find a stock option for your military coin in there. Again, I found that their strength lies in custom 3D artwork that just pops out of the coin and speaks to you.

Pricing.

The stock coins at VSC start at $18.95 which is more expensive than the other companies but the awesome artwork on these coins makes the price more than justified.

As for the Custom challenge coins, no fixed pricing is given. VSC states that it depends on the quantity ordered and size of the coin.

Customer reviews. 

Unfortunately, I could not find any customer reviews on websites like Shopper Approved and Trust Pilot, but they have a Facebook page. It has more than 1800+ likes which gives you an idea of their virality.

Ease of ordering.

The stock coins are pretty straight forward to order, but they have a detailed instructions page for ordering custom coins. It’s a four-step process that can be read here.

Verdict.

If you want to get some of the best badass artwork done by a veteran-owned company, Vision Strike Coins is your best bet.


All Good Things Must Come To An End

I really hope you enjoyed this post and learned a few things about the best challenge coin companies out there. Which company did you like best, or have experience buying from? Have we missed anything or left anyone out of this worthy list? I would love to hear from you so, please leave a comment below.

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