Challenge Coins Canada – 3 things you need to know to select the right producer for you.
Many of our customers look for Canadian challenge coin providers by searching on-line for Challenge Coins Canada but little do they realize that many of the results they get back are from American companies. If you have included “Canada” in your search terms, we applaud you and we hope this guide will help you select the company that will do the best job of creating challenge coins to fit your needs.

There are lots of options when it comes to selecting someone to make your coins. At Sharkz Coins, we want to earn your trust because then we’ll have the pleasure of earning your loyalty. No matter who you end up working with though, here are three questions you should be asking to help you select the right challenge coin producer for you.

Understand your own motivation – why are you are making coins?
Understand what you get for your money, why are some companies more expensive than others?
Should you care about staying with a producer in Canada?
1. Understand your own motivation – why are you are making coins?
There are lots of reasons for making challenge coins, but only a few questions that will help define the producer. Some of the more common reasons include:

Personal challenge coins to hand out as a commendation to worthy subordinates or as a trade/memento when you meet someone special.
Mission challenge coins – only those that participate in a mission or military exercise, or were involved in an incident, receive as a memento – these are sometimes called morale coins.
Unit challenge coins – only those in a unit, or in some cases who have visited a unit receive as a memento (most often military or police or fire department).
Achievement challenge coins – used to celebrate graduations, course completions, and the like.
Special event challenge coins are common for anniversaries, celebrations, conferences, retirement of major assets (like a ship), celebrations, acquisition of new assets.

There are many more reasons than those listed above, but they all have one thing in common. They all have a sense of pride associated with them. This means that the coin will represent something special. When someone gives (or sells) a coin to someone else, the giver is communicating a sense of pride and accomplishment to the receiver. You should ask yourself if this is true for you? Is this the underlying reason you are having challenge coins made? If yes, then you should start by looking for a company that values the same things you do. Are they as proud of their coins as you are of your achievements and the organization you work with? You can ask them this directly, but you can also see it in the quality of their work.

In the past, I have received email requests that start off with:

“Hi there, we have a tight budget and are looking for some cheap coins for our unit….”

to which the response has to be:

“… thank you for connecting with Sharkz Coins! If you are simply looking for a bunch of cheap coins and price is your only consideration, there are lots of companies that can help you with that; however, if you want awesome coins that are great value for money and will reflect the pride you have in your unit, then we can certainly help you with that. We often work with tight budgets, but you do get what you pay for and since we view our coins as our business cards, we only create awesome coins for good value, rather than trying to produce ‘cheap coins’. Please let me know if you would like to proceed with a quote.”

Question: Do you want to make coins you are proud of?
If yes: Select a company with a proven track record of doing just that!

2. Understand what you get for your money, why are some companies more expensive than others?
Some companies tell you to send them your art and they’ll make you some coins. Others ask you to select the size, metal finish, edge effect, number of colours, type of enamel, etc. etc. and they’ll give you a quote and make you some coins. What most won’t tell you is that they have – on staff – professional graphic designers who specialize in coins (like Sharkz Coins). We approach coins differently and its why our coins stand out from the crowd.

Did you know?

There are things that a producer can do to increase value for money – they include:

Maintaining a staff of customer service and graphic arts professionals.
Taking the time to turn your ideas into art that looks great when produced in metal on a coin.
Taking the time to help advise/select the best metal finishes, enamel types, metal treatments, die types, etc.
Spending as much time working with the factories as we do designing a coin so that details are produced exactly as desired.
Standing behind a product to the point where we’ll replace coins at our expense if we make a mistake.
Using only high-quality materials. (did you ever wonder why cheap coins feel cheap?). Unless circumstances demand the use of zinc, our coins are all made with brass as the base-metal. It’s heavier, produces better-looking coins, but often costs a bit more than zinc which often looks and feels, well… cheap!
Experience – you want to work with someone who has years of full-time coin design and production.
So yes, it is possible to get a bunch of cheap coins – they will feel light and tinny and there will be a lack of attention to detail. You’ll likely get “Meh” customer service and you’ll likely get unwelcome surprises. At Sharkz Coins, we promise to quote all-in (you won’t be billed extra for art or dies or shipping or duty or… or… or…). We promise that our customer service experts will treat you well. Our graphics professionals know that you have other things to do than make challenge coins, so they’ll make the process easy for you. We often win bids based on price, so we’re not always more expensive than others… but we do ALWAYS provide the best value for amazing coins.

There will always be cheap coins out there. Many places even advertise their services based on fast turn-around and the “best” price. If you want awesome coins, they won’t necessarily be expensive, but they might (probably should) be a bit more than cheap coins. The price difference may be equivalent to the cost of a decent cup of coffee, something most people would gladly pay if it makes the difference between “meh” and “wow!”.

Question: Should price be the determining factor when making challenge coins?
Answer: No, value for money should be. Ask questions, look at previous work, and look for indicators of value, not just the bottom line.

3. Should I care about using a Canadian Challenge Coin Producer?
The short answer is yes, yes you should. The majority of you reading this post will be employees of federal, provincial, or municipal governments in Canada. Even if you decide that a different Canadian Company is going to give you better value than Sharkz Coins, please do us all favor and keep your money in the Canadian economy supporting the same people that pay your salary.

Canadian Companies support Canadian Communities (at least we do) – here are some ways that Sharkz Coins supports the Community of Esquimalt.

Sharkz Coins has produced no-cost medals for the west coast Navy Run.
Sharkz Coins employs a small team of local people with a living wage. We’ve never hired anyone at minimum wage.
Sharkz Coins co-owner, Chris Edley is the president of the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce supporting local economic growth.
Sharkz Coins co-owner Helen Edley is on the local Advisory Planning Committee, supporting local development.
Sharkz Coins donates annually to Wounded Warriors Canada

If you care about supporting your own economy, we recommend that you seek out a Canadian challenge coin producer. Search for Challenge Coins Canada on the internet and ask pointy questions to make sure you have reached a company based in Canada. Check out their Contact-us or About-us pages to see if they are run by a Canadian Veteran – people who understand the pride of service that underlines the reason you are buying your coins. You want to work with Canadian professionals who understand the role you play in the Candian landscape. Canadian companies support your communities… for example, Sharkz Coins is a member of the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce (actually Sharkz Coins owner Chris Edley is the President and Helen is also on the board).

Challenge Coins Canada Summary
To conclude, if you want awesome coins and you want to spend your dollars in Canada, then Sharkz Coins can help you out. You want to be proud of your coins – we want you to be proud of your coins. Contact us now for a no-obligation quote.

About Sharkz Coins
We only do awesome... We value what you do, and we show that by only making coins that you'll be proud of - Awesome coins. We know you're busy, we'll make things easy for you and we'll make you look great. Posted: Sep 25, 2020 Originally Published: Jun 21, 2020
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