How to Design Custom EMS Challenge Coin


Chances are, most people have seen a challenge coin before. These medals people in tradition have to use to represent the military and police forces. People also give awards or decorations to organizations or teams that symbolize their membership using the EMS challenge coin. The design of challenge coins has evolved, but they still hold the same meaning and importance. Here is how to design a custom EMS challenge coin.

1. Always Start with A Sketch or an Idea

Most of the time, making custom medals is much easier when people have their sketches. People should decide which metal they will use for their custom challenge coin and engrave them onto the medal or silver plate. They can also digitize their images or use them in Photoshop, then scale the image up to be as big as possible (while maintaining the proportions).

2. Make Sure the Coin Is the Right Size

After deciding on the size (no matter whether it will be 2″ in diameter or 4″ in diameter), start drawing a pattern around the circumference of the coin. Make sure that all the dimensions are consistent with each other.

3. Engrave and Polish the Custom Challenge Coins

This is where a lot of people fail, they either don’t know how to engrave their images, or they don’t polish them. People must finish this part of the process because their image can be blurred and hard to recognize.

4. Heat Coloring the Custom Challenge Coin

In this step, it is important to make sure that they don’t overdo it because they can end up damaging it if they heat too much. If they’re not careful, they might accidentally add a different patina or a different color on top of their already done design.

5. Add A Lacquer Coating to Protect the Medals from Oxidation and Fingerprints

There are two ways for people to add a lacquer coating. Many custom challenge coins use a couple of lacquer coats sprayed and then brushed over the medals. This technique is very similar to painting, and the result is self-evident. Another way is engraving the images on the medal first and then applying lacquer onto it; this will give a more natural finish.

6. Silk-Screening The Custom Challenge Coins

Some people use this method for their custom military coins because it’s cheaper than engraving, although many people would rather get them engraved than silk-screened. People do it after putting on the lacquer and before they get a perfect shine on it.

7. Add Gold or Silver Plating to The Coin

If there is a specific color on their custom challenge coins that they want to emphasize, then it’s good for them to add a layer of plating first and then paint over it. It will give a more natural finish, although unnecessary for most scenarios.

8. Add A Velvet Display Case

This is done by making a slot where the medal can fit in. Some people like to add a base that will showcase their medals better, while others prefer putting them inside one long box with a lid on top.

9. Add A Label

In this step, people will ensure stamping their coin with the correct information, such as name and unit. They can also include their home address and any other information they want on the coin.

10. Embellish The EMS Challenge Coins with A Ribbon or A Medal Pin

People do this by attaching a gold or silver medal pin to one of the sides at the top of the coin. A ribbon must be attached to the other side to easily attach it to their uniform or other medals and ribbons.

11. Attaching A Flag Pin

This is done by making a hole into one side of the coin and then threading the flag pin through it before adding it back onto their uniform.


Custom ems coins are great to give team members awards because they create a sense of brotherhood and belonging. In addition, they can use or display them as symbols of their group or organization. There are different ways and different materials that people can choose from depending on the budget and requirements.

This is how to design a custom EMS challenge coin, it can be a little difficult initially, but once people learn all these steps, it would be easy to get custom medals made for them. With all that said, people should start designing custom challenge coins now and make them look as professional and unique as possible.