Geocoins have become very popular items for geocachers to create and use for swag, trade, traveling, and collecting. At some point you might want to create your own geocoin - so how do you go about it?

Here are the steps I recommend:

  1. Ask yourself some questions:
    1. What would you like out of this coin? Personal sig item? Event Coin? Commemorative?
    2. Do you want them trackable at Geocaching.com? This adds $1.50 to each coin, but many only collect or trade trackable coins.
    3. Do you want a custom coin name and icon at Geocaching.com? This costs $150 with a 250 coin minimum.
    4. What size coin do you want? Most coins are 1.5" to 1.75". My coins are generally 1.75" or 2" in diameter. For odd shapes, fit it inside of a box, and then the longest edge of the box sets the size for pricing.
    5. What quantifies are you looking for? 100 qty coins are considered rare. Popular coins may be minted in qty of 1000+. Most personal coins seem to be minted in the 300-500 qty range.
    6. What features do you want to incorporate in your coin. Here are some options:
      1. Finish: Silver, Gold, Copper, Black Nickel, Nickel in Antiqued, Polish, Satin to name a few options.
      2. Colors: Yes or No?
      3. 2D (flat design) or 3D (relief). 3D is roughly 2x the die cost, and you can mix/match with 2D on one side, and 3D on the other.
      4. Enamel type (if using colors): Soft (more textured result) or hard (flat surface). Hard is slightly more expensive.
      5. Glow-in-the-dark colors? Again, more expensive, but the effect can be cool.
      6. Suncatcher enamel? This is a see-through coin with colored enamel, well, like a Suncatcher!
      7. Glitter in the enamel? It has its place, but use sparingly!
      8. Transparent enamel? This is clear and you can see the metal through the enamel.
      9. Epoxy or no? Clear epoxy protects the surface of the coin but removes the "feel" of the coin.
  2. Take your list of features and sketch out what you want for the artwork. The more detail the better, but it doesn't have to be perfect. The minting company can take anything from a sketch on a napkin to a fully rendered artwork complete with PMS colors. But again, the more detail the better!
  3. Contact minting companies to go over options and pricing. There are a lot of folks out there who will do the minting for you. Most contract with mints in China, and its very common for several people to contract with the same mint! I even offer this service (Email me for details). When you contact a company make sure you ask about the following:
    1. What does their quote include (some prices online only list the strike price and don't include shipping, tracking numbers and engraving, dies, etc.).
    2. What art services do they provide?
    3. What schedule do they propose (how long for art approval, first articles, and production)
    4. Do they offer a resell option (if you want to sell your coin at their site)?
  4. Determine how you would like to cover the costs (pay 100% yourself, sell to cover expense, take free coins in return for the minting company to sell (and take the profit) from your coin, etc.). Your options depend on what the minting company will offer.
  5. Select the minting company, submit your artwork, and start the process.
  6. Get samples prior to production! I strongly recommend you see the coin in-hand before ordering production to give you a chance to review the actual coin before you pay big bucks.
  7. Wait patiently.
  8. Enjoy your coins!

Here are companies I recommend for minting services - but the decision is of course yours to make!

Crake Productions (of course :)
Hogwild Stuff
Oak Coins
Coins and Pins

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