There are many reasons why someone would want to make customized silver coins. Custom bullion has long been a fantastic option for gifts. During this holiday season, bullion enthusiasts all over the world will be buying customized precious metal coins, bars, and other items for their friends and loved ones.
Gifting is not the only reason to buy customized silver coins, either. Some business owners choose to market their company or cause using customized silver coins, like these Donald Trump coins minted with 999 fine silver. They can also help to commemorate special events in the lives of people, clubs and companies close to us.
Event coins are particularly popular. These coins are minted specifically to celebrate a given event, such as a graduation, the opening of a business, or an important anniversary.
Regardless of the reason, personalized silver coins are always a welcome way to celebrate or commemorate. Whether these coins are struck with gold, silver, or platinum, a one-of-a-kind bullion coin is unmatched when it comes to uniqueness and appearance. It’s hard to match the feel of a completely unique coin or medallion minted to your own specifications.
But having customized silver coins minted to order is harder than it looks! Personalized coins come in many forms, and different methods used throughout the design and minting process can dramatically impact the final product. No need to fear, though! Hero Bullion is here with a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about how to make customized silver coins.
Whether you’re buying a simple coin with custom text engraving as a personalized gift or you’re looking to celebrate special occasions with a unique line of limited edition coins, we’ve got you covered.
Why Make a Customized Silver Coin?
Like we explained in the introduction, there are many different reasons why someone might want to create a completely unique silver, gold, or platinum coin. Generally, these coins are used to commemorate or celebrate some kind of event or milestone. Some races and other competitions offer minted coins to celebrate the event. Many companies give custom coins to their employees following major promotions or career milestones.
During this part of the year, one exceedingly popular use for customized silver coins is as a gift. Although the process is often expensive, few gifts are quite as memorable as a personalized coin. If you’re looking to absolutely wow someone during Secret Santa this year, look no further than the custom silver coin minting process.
Be warned: completely personalized silver coins are often very pricey because there are many steps in the process. Some mints will only do custom design orders on coins with a certain weight, which can get expensive. But even with smaller denominational coins, the process of designing, engraving, and individually minting a silver coin is relatively labor-intensive. This price is passed onto the consumer, making custom coin design a high-end process in the bullion sector.
A solid alternative for people who want a cheaper gift that still has the personalized feel of a customized coin is to look for companies that do custom engraving. This means that the coin itself will be pre-designed, but you can pay a bit extra and have a name, year, or some other message engraved into the bullion. This is often far cheaper than having completely customized silver coins made, as the cost of pressing a new design onto the coin is taken out of the equation.
Old Versus New School: Designing Silver Coins
The way we see it, there are basically two existing schools when it comes to the customized bullion coin design process. This is important; the method you choose for designing and minting your personalized precious metal coin or bar can impact everything from the appearance of the final product to the total price paid for the piece.
Newer methods of custom coin minting rely primarily on newer technologies, such as digital sculpting programs. These programs still require an artistic professional to oversee the design’s transition into a work of art. However, these newer technologies promise to speed up the process of unique coin minting, and they can also cut down on costs.
Some mints and artists prefer to do things the old-school way. Before the advent of new programs for digital sculpting, creating new coins from scratch involved working more closely with a sculptor. After rendering the initial design with the help of an artist, consumers would mail their design off to the sculptor, who would create a plaster mold using it.
Once the design part of the process has finished, both paths become much more similar. There are a few key differences between approaches to striking the design into an actual bullion coin, and we’ll outline those below.
Which is Better?
But when it comes to choosing the older or newer method of designing coins, there are advantages and disadvantages to each approach.
A few of the upsides to working directly with an old school sculptor:
- Personalized touch.
- Analog feel for a unique look.
- Generally higher relief.
A growing number of people in the bullion community are turning away from the old method and toward more digitized processes. Here are a few of the main advantages of going with new models of custom coin creation:
- Often cheaper total cost.
- Speedier process.
- Very few imperfections.
For the most part, this just comes down to personal preference. Some people love the feel and appearance of classically designed silver coins. Working directly with a sculptor allows you to tap into that artist’s skill set and develop a unique and beautiful piece. The analog feel of coins sculpted this way is also fantastic, and these coins can often be struck with more texture than modern digital sculpting processes allow for.
The obvious advantages to making customized silver coins using new technologies are its speed and cost-efficiency. Because these methods require less physical labor from a sculptor, consumers on a time crunch might tend to go with the new school of custom coin minting. People who aren’t big fans of small imperfections might prefer the digital, almost automated design process used by many contemporary mints.
Best Places to Buy Customized Silver Coins
There’s no shortage of places on the internet that offer to help people mint their own completely customized silver coins. Just a couple of considerations might make it easier for you to figure out which collectible coin company or mint is right for your special gift or project.
To start, getting a good idea of what a mint’s previous works look like. Generally, a mint or bullion distributor offering customized silver coins will have a gallery or portfolio where potential customers can look through the projects the company has completed in the past.
Try to get a good idea of what you like to see in customized coins. How much relief do you like? Do you prefer a specific kind of design on the edges of your coins? Starting with a comprehensive understanding of your project before searching for a mint capable of executing your ideal vision.
There are many different mints currently taking on customized silver coin projects. A few popular options include:
- Golden State Mint
- Intaglio Mint
- Cut Saw Mint
Custom Coin Artists
If you’re willing to pay a little bit more, working directly with a reputed artist is also a fantastic way to mint personalized silver or gold coins. The big upside to seeking out an individual artist is that you’re sure to know exactly what you’re in for. Some of the best bullion sculptors in the United States have worked directly with the biggest mints, including the U.S. Mint itself. Their reputation precedes them, and you won’t have to look far to find brilliant examples of their work.
A few big names among the custom coin sculpting community:
- Heidi Wastweet
- Thomas S. Cleveland
- Tom Rogers
This certainly isn’t a comprehensive list. The U.S. Mint has worked with a number of brilliant sculptors who have helped to pioneer memorable United States bullion designs over the past century. It also might be possible for you to work with leading artists outside of the United States.
Artists have a way of establishing a reputation for themselves. While mints are respected for their longevity and government backing, artists are known for the quality of their designs and the perfection of their sculptures. An artist’s portfolio provides a kind of guarantee concerning the quality and type of work they’re able to make for you.
As we said, this option comes with its own additional costs. But if you’re looking to create a coin with lasting value as a work of art, rather than just a store of silver bullion, commissioning a seasoned artist in the field is a great choice.
Start searching around to find artists whose work closely matches the vision you have for your custom coins!
Frequently Asked Questions About Customized Silver Coins
The custom silver coin design process is certainly a unique one. We’re here to answer some of the most commonly asked questions bullion collectors have about making customized silver coins.
Q: How much do customized silver coins cost?
A: This depends on several factors. Personalized coins will certainly cost more than the silver content of the pieces is worth. We suggest working directly with a mint or silver bullion company to figure out a quote for your project.
Q: What are personalized silver coins used for?
A: There are many different reasons companies, organizations, or individuals would have a unique silver piece minted. They’re sometimes used to celebrate major career or organizational milestones, such as new membership, promotions, leadership positions, and more. But a growing number of collectors are crafting their own coins to celebrate personal events, such as weddings, graduations, or retirements.
Q: Do custom coins make good wedding gifts?
A: We think so! There’s something extremely special about a one-of-a-kind silver bullion item. No two custom coins are made exactly alike, so using a coin to celebrate a once-in-a-lifetime event like a wedding seems extremely fitting, personal, and exciting.
Q: Are custom coins different from engraved coins?
A: There is a minor difference between these two kinds of coins. Custom engraved coins have already been designed; it’s only the engraving that’s added to an existing mold. Truly custom silver coins, on the other hand, are designed by the user from the ground up.
Q: Where can I buy custom silver coins?
A: Many leading private mints offer to make custom coins for customers. A few examples include Golden State Mint, Intaglio Mint, and Cut Saw Mint. We also recommend working directly with leading bullion sculpting artists, whose proven artistic visions might make your finished product as unique as possible.
The Bottom Line: Personalized Silver Coins
Custom coins have been considered incredible gifts for several centuries. While the process used to mint unique coins changes with new technology, the usefulness of these brilliant products remains unaltered. Custom silver coins can help to celebrate graduations, birthdays, marriages, promotions, and so much more. There’s clearly a reason why so many companies prefer customized coins as their go-to gift for rewarding faithful employees.
To secure the perfect personal coin for your event, it’s important to approach the process with a clear idea of your vision for the final product. Being able to communicate this vision with your artist throughout the design and minting process is essential to guarantee that the final coin looks as amazing as possible.
It’s easy to get lost in the weeds when looking for the best place to mint a custom silver, gold, or platinum coin. Looking through a mint or artist’s portfolio of previous works is a great way to ensure that their vision aligns with your own. Choosing whether you prefer the old school or the new school method of minting unique coins is another important factor in your approach.
At the end of the day, it’s hard to go wrong when you’re creating a personalized gift in the form of a customized silver coin. There’s a reason these items have always held such a special place in the hearts of gift-givers.
If you’re ready to take the jump and create your own silver coin, it’s time to develop your vision and begin the search for artists and mints!