Choosing the Metal for Your Medallion

Each individual metal and metal alloy has its own color, luster, and hardness. The subject matter and complexity of your design, the intended purpose of the piece, and your specific budget priorities are all factors you will want to consider when selecting the metal for your custom medallion. Below are some close-up photos and descriptions of metals and other options, showing a proof-like version of common metal selections. But don't worry about taking it all in at once. When you're ready to create your custom piece, our expert staff will help you learn everything you need to know to make your design idea shine!

Precious and Standard Coin Metals


Copper has a distinctive reddish hue like that of a freshly minted penny. Often alloyed with other metals, it is durable enough for use on its own, and can be struck in a proof-like form (shown) or the popular antique finish.

Cuper Nickel

This silver-toned alloy of copper, nickel, and zinc is extremely durable and lends itself well to a variety of finish types, including antique and proof.


A proprietary brass alloy developed by Northwest Territorial Mint, MerlinGold® has a proof-like mirror finish that simulates the shine of real gold.


Silver is a precious metal used in world coinage since antiquity and highly sought after today as an investment commodity. Near-perfectly reflective, silver proof coins take on a whitish hue and bright shine, lending to their beauty and prestige.


A precious metal like silver, only more rare, gold conveys importance and eminence in stature like no other metal. Though gold is relatively soft and highly malleable, it resists tarnish and is often plated over other metals to accent the color and lend prestige.

Platinum and Palladium
Platinum and Palladium

Platinum and palladium, precious metals classified as Platinum Group Metals, are both silvery-white in appearance and are renowned for their rarity and exceptional radiance.

Northwest Territorial Mint: Insights & Ideas
USS Parche coin
Hot Topic: Special Metals

Sometimes the nature of the coin makes the choice of metal an emotional decision. When the USS Parche was decommissioned the first struck coins used brass that came from a cleat removed from the submarine. We can often use metal supplied from the customer for a truly unique and special coin.

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Northwest Territorial Mint: In The News

The Silver Eagle

Northwest Territorial Mint: Did You Know?The American Silver Eagle is the official silver bullion coin of the United States. First released by the United States Mint in 1986, it is struck in one size only: 1 troy oz of .999 pure silver as guaranteed by the U.S. Government. This coin has a face value of $1, is authorized by the United States Congress and backed by the United States Mint for weight and content.