Coin Edges and Enamels
Coin Border / Edge Treatments and Enamels: Considerations and Finer Points
Customizing your coin with a special border / edge treatment is a very attractive way to further add uniqueness and character to your coins. The standard border / edge treatment is a classic as well, and you cannot go wrong choosing it. One important thing to know with borders is that they should be wide enough relative to the overall size of coin. It's a fine point, but it makes a big difference — and the success of a quality coin is always the combination of many fine points done correctly. It visually looks better, and will also make a coin with all other things being equal feel thicker, better, and of a higher quality than a coin with a too thin border. For special edge treatments, in addition to their design, quality also is reflected in their execution, as not all coins with the same style of border will give the same impression when seen and especially held. For instance, the diamond border, done correctly (without cost shaving skipping of procedures), should not feel burred and overly sharp along the very edge of the coin where it is held. Special treatments are a wonderful design touch and all look fantastic; our favorites may be the scalloped and the chisel options due to their clean snd sophisticated look.
About The Different Enamel Types
Shown above, left to right in designs with all equal in the graphics for comparison, are colors applied with soft enamel, soft enamel + epoxy, and new hard enamel.
Soft enamel results in a coin which has metal areas that will appear to be "raised up". In fact, the metal is the same height on all three examples — the soft enamel is just recessed slightly into the coin. It's a true classic challenge coin look — and feel — that many appreciate and prefer. In cases where there will be maximum coverage of enamel on the coin, in large areas of a single color, there can sometimes be small imperfections in the enamel.
In the center coin, the soft enamel — identical to the coin on the far left — has been covered by a protective coating of clear epoxy, which does a few things: 1) it protects the enamel which is not quite as durable as hard enamel, 2) it also greatly smooths out any small imperfections in the enamel, 3) it gives a glassy / heightened saturation appearance to the colors, and 4) it also makes the metal of the coin seem to glimmer more. It is a very attractive look. Something it also does is act as a sort of "silencer" by absorbing vibration — when a coin has the epoxy coating, it does not have much of the classic "ring" that all solid brass coins inherently have. It's a fine point, but nonetheless sometimes it's nice to flip a heavy coin and hear the wonderful ring it makes!
The third example at the right uses hard enamel. Hard enamel is a substantially different color application process, and results in the color being level / smooth to the metal's surface, not recessed. It's a clean, high end look. Also, as it's name implies, it is also very durable. It is not suggested for antique plated coins as the colors can become muted from the antiquing, nor is epoxy applied to hard enamel.
All three look fantastic, and it's really a personal preference as to which you might choose for your coins.
Edge Options Include
- Reeded / Coined