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Custom Coin Design: High Polish Challenge Coins

The brightest of our plating options, high polish challenge coins showcase a gleaming mirror finish as its most defining feature.


The brightest of our plating options, high polish challenge coins showcase a gleaming mirror finish as its most defining feature. When you want a look that positively gleams, a high polish finish has your back. However, this plating option can be tricky to work with if you don’t know what you’re doing. In today’s post, AllAboutChallengeCoins is diving into the best practices for designing a high polish challenge coin that’ll look and feel great.

Features of a high polish Challenge Coin

 The most obvious reason for selecting a high polish finish is to get a design with a gleaming metallic look on your challenge coin. When you want a coin in the style of an Olympic medal or trophy high polish is going to be the finish of choice. But that’s not the only reason you might want to go with this style of finish. As our base option, high polish challenge coins are cheaper and quicker to produce than our popular antique finishes. As with any project, we offer a full suite of design options that can really take your challenge coin to the next level.

Use Dark Tones for Contrast and Visual Texture

 Unlike challenge coins with an antique finish, high polish challenge coins have no natural shading for the recessed parts of a design. Coupled with a gleaming polish, this means that some detail and texture can get obscured by the bright shine of a high polish coin itself. One of the best ways to get shaded detail on high polish challenge coins is to shade in the recesses directly with an enamel color fill. The result creates a striking contrast between the polished finish and darker color tones which creates a unique visual definition that’s hard to replicate. 

Raise Text on a Colored Background or Color Recessed Text

 Text on a challenge coin can be raised or recessed on the surface of the coin. However, once again, the bright polish of a challenge coin can make it difficult to read any text without adding some shading to the design. On color-heavy challenge coins where most of the coin is using color fill, raising the text over the color background will create a naturally polished and clean look for your text. The reverse is true if you’re using relatively few colors on your challenge coin with recessed text. By filling in the recessed text with a color you create visual contrast that makes it much more legible. If, however, you want to avoid using any color on your text, say for a die struck challenge coin, your best bet for making high polish text legible is to increase your font size.

Dual-Plating Looks Great With High Polish

 Dual-plating a challenge coin is one of the best ways to create a unique look for any coin design. However, take our advice, one of the best decisions you can make for a dual-plated coin is to make sure one of the options is in high polish. Whether mixed in equal measure with another plating option or just used to high light specific details, the bright gleam of high polish adds a new level of visual gravitas to your coin design. Even if you’re only using high polish plating on a small detail of your coin, a high polish will always standout and literally shine.

Keep 3D Molded Details Simple

 Using a 3D mold is one of our most popular options, but if you’re mixing the option with high polish plating, you’ll want to keep those sculpted details simple. Unfortunately, it's hard to measure how much detail is too much on a challenge coin. But sculpted detail needs some shading on a challenge coin to keep things legible making most 3D challenge coins look best with an antiqued finish. However, that shouldn’t keep you from working 3D with a high polish coin. Just keep the 3D parts of your coin relatively simple or over a dark-colored backdrop for the best visual presentation. Simple geometric shapes and rounded designs are in our experience the best way to showcase the gleaming surface of your high polish challenge coin. 

Keep it Polished With AllAboutChallengeCoins

With clever use of color, molding, and design, some of our best projects at AllAboutChallengeCoins have come from high polish design. If you find yourself unsure, don’t forget we offer unlimited revisions and free artwork to every customer. From shape to color, our design team will work directly with you to create a stellar design. Shoot us a message at info@allaboutchallengecoins.com or fill out our online form to get started!

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