Project Design Center
Here you will find a lot of good information about project design. Reviewing the information on this page will allow you to make informed decisions regarding your project. At any stage in your project, feel free to email us for advice on the features you are considering for your coin. The options can be daunting. Here is some helpful information.
Item SizePrice Influence: Large
One of the easiest ways to adjust the cost of your project is to reduce its size. Size is measured as the diameter of round coins or the longest edge for shaped coins. If you have a rectangular coin which is 3 inches tall, but only .25 inches wide - you will still incur the cost of a 3 inch sized item. Similarly the base cost of a 3x2 inch coin is almost identical to the cost of a 3x1 inch coin. So maximize your design usage where you can. Your item can be as large or as small as you like. We'll quote anything.
Item ShapePrice Influence: Moderate
Round coins will be the least expensive. Shaped coins (even squares or rectangles) incur slightly higher setup costs than round coins. If your coin includes punched out holes there are two things to be wary of. First, each hole will incur a cost in your job. Second, the removal of metal makes a coin feel lighter and possibly "cheaper". How a coin feels in your hand is almost as important as how it looks on display. Keep your coins heavy - stick to 1.75 inch or larger coins when possible, try to use a thickness of 3.5mm or thicker for best feel, and avoid removing a lot of metal from the coin's interior.
Item ThicknessPrice Influence: Low
3.5mm coins are our standard thickness. In fact, you will not save any money if you make a 3.0mm coin! Even going to 2.0mm or less is not going to make a huge impact on pricing and thickness of a coin has a significant effect on its final look and feel. Especially for 3D coins. In a 3D coin - the thicker the better. You may consider using a die casting process to reduce the cost per unit of the coin and use the savings to amp up the thickness to 6.0mm or more to get the best relief detail in your design.
Minting Process (Stamped or Die Cast)Price Influence: Moderate - Large (Depends on Quantity)
Stamped coins are made from brass blanks. The design is stamped into the faces of the coin by a machine at high pressure. Because of this, dies can break and must be re-made and the brass material is relatively expensive. Die casting involves pouring molten metal into a two-piece mold to create your design. The setup costs for this process are higher than stamping, but the per-unit price can be up to 25% less expensive. For a larger run, you may consider die casting to reduce the cost of your order. Die casting is often less expensive and produces generally the same result as stamping. The disadvantages are that the die casting material is lighter (resulting in a less satisfactory "feel" when holding it) and despite extensive polishing, the mold marks (where one half of the mold meets the other) are often lightly visible on the coin's edge. If your budget and design can support it, we always suggest brass stamping. It should be noted that your design, not your budget, may dictate the process you are required to use. We will advise you on this during our estimation process and provide you with advice about process, thickness, etc.
3D or 2D DesignPrice Influence: Moderate
Again, this impacts only setup costs for the most part. 3D coins have slightly higher setup costs than 2D coins. In addition, 3D is done "in relief". To achieve high relief, the thickness of the coin is usually measured from face to face, not the edge. So a 3.5mm 3D coin may look and feel "thinner" than a 3.5mm 2D coin when they are actually the same thickness. When doing 3D coins you may consider using a die casting process. This allows a much deeper relief in the 3D and the lower cost die casting process can offset the additional cost of having a thicker coin.
Plating TypePrice Influence: Moderate
Plating will probably be one of the most important decisions about your coin. Shiny platings are the cheapest. There is Shiny Gold, Silver, Brass, Nickel, Copper, and Black (also sometimes called "black nickel"). Gold and brass look very similar, but brass is less expensive. Silver and nickel look very similar, but nickel is less expensive. Silver and Copper platings can oxidize. It is suggested if you want a silver-color plating to use nickel to avoid this. If on a budget, keep this in mind. It can reduce the cost up to $.05 per coin over your entire order. Antique and Foggy platings are the most expensive. Antique is reccommended for use with 3D designs.
Type of EnamelPrice Influence: Moderate
You have a choice of several enamel types. The most common are "soft" enamel and "hard" enamel. Our "hard" enamel is actually a synthetic resin. This provides a wide array of color possibilities and superior durability. The main difference between hard and soft enamels are the way they look and feel on the coin. Hard enamels result in a "flat" feeling. The surface of the coin will be completely smooth with very little texture. Soft enamel hardens in a concave form, providing texture to the surface of the coin. When you run a finger over the coin, you will be able to "feel" the detail. Hard enamel costs more than soft enamel and can add 20% or more to your per-unit cost.
Number of ColorsPrice Influence: Low
Once you get over 4 colors per side on a coin, the price per unit starts to creep up. But each additional color will only incure a few cents per unit. If you design would look stunning with 10 colors per side and only so-so with 5 per side... we don't suggest skimping on color. Of course - in many cases more subtle use of color is ideal. We think much of the magic of coins and pins lie in their metal work.