So you need custom die cast medals for your next sporting or academic event? There are a number of factors to consider to make sure you receive a great looking award medal at a great price. Consider the following when shopping for customized die cast award medals.
Custom die cast medals can vary in quality depending on the manufacturer. When considering a die cast medal’s quality, here are some important questions:
1. Will the thickness of the medallion equal what was promised, or will the manufacturer decrease the thickness to save on costs? Will the medal feel “substantial” and have considerable weight relative to its size?
2. Are the letters and images going to be clear, crisp and detailed? (Less Clarity can result from a rubber “spin cast” mold)
3. Will the buffing and plating be consistent across all medals?
4. On antique finishes, will the medallion’s edges be buffed, or will the manufacturer cut corners by leaving all the edges blackened.
5. Will the ribbons/neckbands be attached with clips and jump rings that match the medal’s plating? (For example, polished gold jump rings used on antique gold medals is unacceptable.)
6. Will each medal be poly-bagged and packaged properly? Championship Rings
Next, you will want to evaluate the medals manufacturing process. Custom medallions are typically liquid cast in a steel mold or die. You will typically incur a die charge. Medallions cast in steel molds/dies show amazing detail and quality. Beware of companies that use a disposable rubber mold (spin cast) which decreases mold/die charges and overall costs but produces a less detailed medallion. Rubber molds can be a very cost-effective alternative for simple medals and quick deadlines, however if your medals have detailed imagery and art, a steel die is the best. Always ask if the manufacture will keep the die for future use, and if you will incur a die charge for future re-orders. Pendants
The finish of your medal is another factor to consider. The finish and color of your medals depends on the plating. Most medals are available in antique gold, silver and bronze. Antique finishes are the most popular. A typical antique finish is where raised areas of your medal show a more bright or shiny appearance, and the lower relief areas are more blackened. You can also have your medals plated in bright gold, silver and bronze where there is no “antique” effect and the finish appears bright and shiny overall. Typically, bright finishes cost a little more.
Including color in your custom die cast medals can really add to their appearance. Medals can be color filled with enamel, but there is an additional charge. This extra charge is usually well worth it, especially if you have a logo or insignia where you want to maintain branding. You will be surprised how little color adds to the overall cost of your medal. Medals
You have more than likely heard of 2D versus 3D custom cast award medals. Two dimensional custom medals maintain 2 or more flat plains or levels. Most often, a 2D medal has a low recessed level and a raised higher flat level (raised text). Three D or 3 Dimensional medals have variations or graduations in levels making images look more realistic. 3D Molds are more expensive to make, but can really add that extra touch to the overall appearance of your custom medal.
Artwork will need to be provided by you, or created by an outside graphics person, or the manufacturer. Keep in mind that what is black on your medallion artwork is typically raised, and what it white will be recessed. You most likely will be asked to provide digital vector art in any of the following formats: pdf., cdr (Corel Draw),.ai or eps. If you cannot produce your own art, expect to pay from $45-$150 per hour for art creation.
Your custom die cast medals are no good if you don’t receive them on time. Depending on where your medals are coming from, expect to wait from 3-10 weeks. Most American and Foreign die cast manufacturers work through dealers and reps that sell direct to the end user. Overseas artisans continually impress with their attention to detail and quality at unmatched pricing, and North American manufacturers can be great at meeting quick turnaround deadlines and requiring lower minimums. Give yourself plenty of time.
So what makes a medal look good? As you might expect, the final appearance of your medal has much to do with the art. Not to mention, a medal’s beauty really is in the “eye of the beholder.” This aside, a medal with an abundance of raised area tends to enhance its appearance. Medals with a large amount of open recessed areas may look bare and empty. Often, adding a slight texture to the medal’s recessed background area can help the overall appearance.