Difference Between Hard and Soft Enamel Challenge Coins

Written by Pradeep Kumar

When you are looking to order your customized challenge coins, you may come across terms like soft enamel coins and hard enamel coins. If you are new to the world of custom coins, these terms might sound unfamiliar. So, here we are to explain what these are and what the differences are.

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What is a Hard Enamel Coin?

Some people claim that hard enamel coins are far superior to soft enamel coins. Let us first talk about what is usually misunderstood as hard enamel.

The hard enamel process is a derivative of the cloisonné finishing technology, first used by ancient Chinese manufacturers of lapel pins. Your coin is formed by a mold that “stamps” your design into brass or other metal alloys. This stamping actually imprints your specific design on the metal and also forms the shape of a coin. The raised and recessed areas are created by this stamping process. It is the groove area that receives the color.

Hard enamel technology fills these recessed areas to a level that is level with the raised areas. The coins are then baked at a high temperature and then “polished” with a special wheel to ensure that the color and the metal are flush. Finally, the surface of the challenge coin is shiny and smooth, and the convex and concave areas no longer exist.

The raised area gives it a texture, making it more attractive to many people.

What is a Soft Enamel Coin?

Soft enamel challenge coins is actually not soft to the touch. It’s just that the enamel is not polished. The difference between the two is that the color used for the design is lower than the raised area. This is just an industry term referring to a technology and completion process, which greatly affects how a completed challenge coin will appear to the end-user.

Soft enamel coins do not mean “soft” at all. The main difference between the two processes is that soft enamel coins are not “polished.” In addition, the color is not filled to the level of the raised metal area. In fact, these colors are added to a level slightly below the raised area of the coin.

The fact is that more than 90% of challenge coins are made with soft enamel craftsmanship. Their surface has characteristics that you can feel with your hands, and also capture light, enhancing the design. Few people prefer hard enamel coins, and the cost of casting is more expensive.

However, many companies boast that all their coins are made with hard enamel and they are better than soft enamel to some extent. This is far from the truth.

In actuality, here is what happens when you order a hard enamel challenge coin. The same enamel color used from a soft enamel coin is filled to a level, even with a raised coin surface and the same enamel is then baked, polished to a high gloss, and presented as a real hard enamel coin and same enamel color, different surface treatments, that’s it.

So, regarding how you want your coins to look, is really a matter of preference. Both hard and soft enamel coins look great and while hard enamel coins may cost more, it is more due to the finishing process than superiority.

If you are looking for a military coin exchange, you can always get the best deals from us.

You May Also Read:

-Marine Corps Challenge Coins And Its Significance
-Know the Importance of Marine Corps Challenge Coins

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Pradeep Kumar

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