Challenge Coin

Anyone have a good source for blank challenge coins. I ordered some 1.25" blanks, but they are aluminum (light) and too thin. Looking for some steel or heavier metal. Planning to Cermark for laser. Thanks.

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Alibaba appears to have some.

This is a great idea - I’ve made a bunch of wooden ones for people, but metal would be awesome.

Keep me up to date on your journey. I’m the rec committee guy on my submarine and would love to do my own challenge coins.

Here’s what I’m working on for this year’s sub reunion.

PG Maple ply front. 4 layers of white core mat board and a backing off Draftboard. Pinned together using 23ga pins through the eyes of the fish. Can be wall hung or displayed on a stand.

Also doing a set of 4 tile coasters but no pics of those since I’m traveling this week.



Holy cow, that’s a work of art! How many are you doing?

3 dozen 5x7s, 10 8x10s plus one that’s custom for one of the sailors as a special appreciation presentation.

Then 250 coasters. Gotta get more sharpies :blush:


I’m gonna buy stock. :smile:

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Can always make wooden challenge coins! I made these a while back for my COB and some guys on my boat.


Here is another I made for the CO.


That one is pretty awesome. I’m thinking a Sonar LPO coin…

I made 100 challenge coins from clear acrylic the size of silver dollars for the last reunion. Weeding those was a trial. Also a dozen acrylic coasters - same design as the coins but also engraved with each of the committee member’s name & position. And 50 acrylic LED light up signs with the sub, emblem and reunion dates - used the eBay restaurant menu LED sign bases.

This time in addition to the plaque I’ve a series of 4 coasters and a PG Maple ply coaster holder. Every attendee gets one of the 4 designs (complete sets are available from the ship’s store & benefit the reunion expenses). The 4 designs are a cutaway of the sub, a profile of the ship w/tech specs (builder, dates, tonnage propulsion, etc), the fish & sub name & dates and a copy of the cover of the welcome booklet the ship’s company got when they came aboard (I’m interested in how many still have a copy).

Attendees (or those who miss the reunion) can get sets of plaques or coasters and the proceeds get applied to the reunion expenses for the next one. This is the 25th anniversary of its decommissioning and the reunion will be up in Seattle near where that happened. Having 200 guys attend is pretty neat.


Well, that’s just damned impressive. Did you do the giveaways pre- Glowie too?

(Oops, sorry…I’m threadjacking here.)

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Yeah. That was with the Redsail. I donate it all so the discovery of the Home Depot tile was a great thing this year :slightly_smiling_face:

Getting to do it in the comfort of the basement vs the garage makes up for the slower speed of the GF and the smaller bed.

But that was when I first figured out a use for the GF trace feature and wished I had it :smiley: I needed to engrave the part of the sign that fit in the base but the base wasn’t just a flat top - it had a wave to it. I traced that on an index card and scanned that into Corel to digitally trace and then engrave. Today I’d put the index card trace into the GF to scan and drop it right on the design.


What fantastic work. Thank you all for your service.


Let me know if you need a tour. I’m still in and I’m the community relations guy. I’d love to give you a tour of my submarine. Don’t know if you ever got to come aboard an Ohio class SSBN, besides your also local!

That’s really a nice offer. One of the committee chairs lives down in New London and I keep some intending to get down there and meet in person. (My motorcycle buddy who started this all is up in NY.) It’s kind of funny how we develop relationships with people we’ve never met in real life. :slightly_smiling_face:

I do hit Groton a few times a year - one of my favorite diners in New England is Norms. I chase old school steel diners all over the country :blush:

I like those hangers :wink:

Were they your invention? Someone here invented them and like the material hold down pins, they’re ubiquitous now :slightly_smiling_face:

I considered skipping the bottom one and just cutting the oval in the back Draftboard plate because the sky mat board is pretty thick but I didn’t want someone with a pointy headed screw or nail mashing it through the mat board.

How’d you get the sailor etched in blue? Print it then cut it?

Nope. Got white core mat board. Then I played with power settings. It’s a picture of the statue that I converted to grayscale and then inverted.

Engraved with vary power and then played with settings. I actually had to bump the min value so that I got good detail - I think I ended up at 20/40 for the power settings. Too little and it will engrave the board but not enough to get through the top paper coating - it gives a dark engrave. Too much and it toasts the white inner core it exposes. I used that to create a bit of a thundercloud look to the background. Too much difference between min & max and it lost all detail in blue or washed it all out in white.

I was amazed at the detail I could get in the face. I thought about playing more with the photo in Photoshop to dodge out the face some more but it’s a bronze statue and I was lucky to get the tonal depth I had. Not a lot to work with. And I wanted to use the statue vs creating a drawing of it. One of the committee guys served with the seaman who posted for the sculptor so I was trying to keep it fairly authentic.

I had another more artistic take on it where there were just a few highlights in the engrave to call out some clothing definition. But no face or even detail on the peacoat or anything. Figured that would make you wonder if he were facing to sea watching his boat come in so he could rejoin his mates or if he were watching it leave him. Or maybe he was facing forward and coming home while his shipmates left but it was a homecoming & not a left behind.

The committee didn’t appreciate the ambiguity of that version & asked for a more realistic engraving :slightly_smiling_face: sometimes the art just doesn’t resonate.