Mounting "Challenge Coins" ..........


PFG, Picture Framing God
Apr 12, 2001
Destin, Florida
I have alot of airmen coming in from Eglin AFB with collector coins from the different campaigns to which they have been assigned and also pocket carried "challenge coins". (That's a whole 'nother story!) and these coins range from the size of a half dollar to bigger than a silver dollar. Most are round but they range from oval to multi-sided and are decorated on bkoth sides. These guys want their coins mounted so that they can take them out and show the reverse sides to their friends when asked. I carry coin display cases just for this purpose but most of them want shadowboxes designed with all their memorabilia from the campaigns included with the coins.

I have gotten all the whys and wherefores worked out with the shadowboxes that they can be opened easily and the finishing of them inside and out but I haven't come up with a good solution to the actual mounting of the coins. I have tried sink mounts, sink mounts with mylar strips behind them, Mighty Mounts (as a last resort when they happen to fit the coin), and I haven't come up with a method that will cut the sink openings small enough, accurately, and with consistency to depend on it for doing these coin mounts. If the openings are too small by a fraction, the coin is hard to set in the opening and remove, if too large by just a fraction, the coin has a tendency to fall out of the opening by just removing the top of the shadowbox or bumping the wall where it hangs.

Some of these coins are real works of art! And the mounts have to be such that no damage or scratching can occur when they are removed or replaced.

I have this vision of something similar to a pill bottle cap cut in half (sort of like a half moon shape) only with a double side so the coin could fit down into the slot formed by the sides. The mount could then be attached to the backing by the back side of the half "bottle cap". Has anyone seen such a mount or something similar to it??

I have expended all my ideas and have come up with a big goose egg so far. I know somebody has had the same problem and has such a simple solution that I will shout, "Why didn't I&nbspthing of that!!"

('Cause I'm getting a bit dense in my advanced stage of life, that's why!)

I'm not a coin collector, but I've seen a few collections. One collecton had individual coins encapsulated in mylar. A coin shop must have some sort of machine for doing this. The film was fairly thick, a the treatment seemed available for many different sizes. Maybe cutting such a package in half would give you the pocket you need.

I've also seen clear plastic coin cases that fit individual coins. They were rigid and probably could be cut.

I did some old glass photograhic slides a few years ago. Same situation in that the client wanted to be able to remove them. Fortunately, I had just purchased my CMC and was able to cut openings/pockets that were pretty secure while permitting removal.
There are a variety of packaging/holder options available for coins. One web site where you can check out many of these is www.JPsCorner.Com
Uh uh, Kit, most of them are either solid brass or some kind of non-ferrous metal. They are deeply inscribed with the campaign, ie., "Operation Iraqi Freedom" on the obverse and the 5 branches of the service that were involved in the campaign. Some are a combination of polished or matte metal/brass and laquered finish on things like the American Flag background or the country of action.

I am going to try using some heavier Mylar straps and folding them in appropriate areas to fit into slots in the matboard that are about 1/3 up from the bottom of the coin, far enough to hold the coin in place but allow the viewer to slide the coin out easily. I will hotmelt the straps to the back of the mat board and see how it works.

I am mounting all of this guy's stuff on C7114 Carbon black suede with C1554 Williamsburg green as a liner for the float mounts with a reverse bevelled edge on each of the items. The Special Forces group that he was attached to had black/green for their colors.

I checked out the clear plastic coin holders and airtight coin display cases and none of them were appropriate for this project. Most of them are made to encase a coin with little option to remove them easily should the need arise. Since I am working on a suede surface I am afraid that, with the leverage and pressure that has to be exerted on the coin holders, there's a chance that he will accidently pull one of them off the surface of the matboard.