The surfaces of Custom 3-D Challenge Coins resemble sculptures or carvings. While many Challenge Coins used different levels of raised metal, often as a dividing line between different colors of paint, 3D stands out as unique. Anything that can be depicted with depth, such as architecture, human and animal figures, and vehicles, can benefit from utilizing 3D relief. It lends the subject matter a level of realism that can’t be achieved with any other method.
Compared with other techniques, 3D is the best method to depict texture, such as feathers, scales, bricks, or even clouds. While coins with 3D can vary in appearance, there are some commonalities that all 3D coins share. For example, the surface of the 3D aspects cannot be painted (though flat areas on a 3D coin can be painted). That means whichever metal finish you select for your coin will be the color of your 3D relief.
Light is as much a design element of 3D relief coins as metal. The way light reflects off of the different levels, textures, and overall surface area of a 3D coin is extremely pleasing to the eye. This effect is especially pronounced with a “shiny” metal finish. For coins with a more matte finish, the more appropriate term might be shadow. Areas where light can’t reach look darker, further enhancing the curvature of the 3D relief, as well as the illusion of depth.
If you’re hoping to get 3D relief put onto a coin, it is best to provide us with a good photograph that captures the entirety of the subject you hope to turn into 3D. From there, we use skilled artisans and computer processes to create the 3D relief on our coins. Before production begins, you will receive a 3D relief CAD image, which better shows the depth levels of the metal.
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