What is the difference between types of coin finishes or plating?

There are tons of differences between our plating options that can bring character and class to your coins!

Most coins look best plated in one of our standard finishes: gold, silver, copper, or brass. We offer these in two different styles—polished or antique. Polished coins are plated, buffed, and shined until they're reflective, giving them a rich, expensive-looking, jewelry-like glow. Antique coins are coated with a non-toxic patina after plating, conjuring the honor, history, and distinction of an older award or treasure. Both styles can be used in equally effective ways in a coin design.

Coin finishes: gold, silver, copper and bronze, polished and antiqued
Choose from a wide variety of finishes

The difference between polished and antique versions of the same plating can be drastic. For example, polished copper looks like a vibrant rose-gold, while antique copper is often used as a stand-in for "bronze" medals.

We offer other platings and finishes as well, the most popular being black nickel. This cool, dark metal is really more of a gunmetal grey, and only comes polished in order to capture its befuddling nature. Black nickel coins can appear almost black, but holding them under direct light reveals they reflect as brightly as silver. That's how the name black nickel came about, even though they're really not black or nickel at all!

Examples of black nickel coins
Examples of black nickel coins

We also provide dyed solid color and rainbow metals, akin to anodized jewelry. For example, some customers who initially requested black nickel have ended up opting for dyed black metal instead, due to it being a more solid-color finish over its counterpart that worked better for their design overall.

Rainbow anodized and black dyed metal coin examples
Rainbow anodized and black dyed metal coin examples
To see a full list of our challenge coin plating options, check out our comprehensive options page here.

As always, if you have any further questions about our plating options or want an expert opinion on which one will work best for you, reach out to our sales team for more information!