The 2014 Wheelers Logo

        Custom Made Medals

Commemorative Coins, Lapel Pin Badges by

Site Map Privacy Policy

The Technical Bit !

Soft, Hard Enamel, Synthetic Hard Enamel - Which is Better ?


You may have thought that the very word Hard would mean that the process using Hard Enamel or Synthetic Hard Enamel would be better than Soft Enamel but this is not necessarily so


To explain we first need to know how a  Medal, Coin or Lapel Pin Badge is made.


From your design the production artwork is produced.   From your confirmation of the Production Artwork a Mold is made and the design is stamped out into Iron,

a Metal Alloy or Brass material.  In the stamping process raised and recessed areas are formed for the various colours of the design to recieve the enamel colouring.

Each colour is added individually by using a syringe to fill the recessed areas.


Hard Enamel:

In the Hard Enamel Process the colouring is added to the recessed areas so that the recessed areas fill flush to the raised levels.  The product is baked at a high temperature

and then machine polished so that the colours and raised metal are flush with each other.  Hard enamel is only available in selected colours.


Synthetic Hard Enamel:

The Synthetic Hard enamel process is a similar process and finish to Hard enamel but with synthetic colouring which can be pantone matched.  Synthetic or Imitation Hard enamel was introduced to the industry in the 1990's as a more economical process to the traditional Hard Enamel process and as the need for pantone colour matching to logos and designs was required.

We use Synthetic Hard Enamel instead of Hard Enamel because it is a more reasonable cost to produce, the finish is very similar but we can match pantone colours with the Synthetic Hard Enamel process which we cannot do with Hard Enamel


Soft Enamel:

Soft Enamel is an Industry term referring to the technique and the finished process.  There is nothing Soft about Soft Enamel !

In the Soft Enamel Process the colour is added to the recessed areas but to a level that is slightly beneath the level of the raised metal giving a feel to the design.


More than 90% of the Medals, Coins and Lapel Pin Badges that we supply are made with the Soft Enamel process.  

We believe that a soft enamel finsih gives dimension, texture and character to a Custom made Bespoke product, which in turn gives the product surface characteristics

that you can feel.


So is Hard Enamel, Synthetic Hard enamel better than Soft Enamel?   In our opinion we feel this is not the case.  

Which will last longer ?  Again it is our experience that neither will out perform the other.


It is a personal choice as to whether you wish to have a textured finish (Soft Enamel) or a Smooth finish  (Hard Enamel).  

However you can still have a Smooth finish using a Soft Enamel process by adding an epoxy to the surface.


2D or 3D Designs:



2D is the most 'economical' and the most common type of Medal, Coin and Lapel Pin Badge that we make.

When an Medal, Coin or Lapel Pin Badge is referred to as being 2D, it means that there are only 2 heights of surfaces,

1.  The Lower surface, or background or Recessed area

2.  The upper surface, foreground or Raised Area.

Almost any type of design can be very well reproduced in 2D - especially using what is called an 'antique' finish to maximize the contrast between the

     polished foreground and darkened background.

The raised areas are flat surfaces that can be polished during production.  The raised areas have straight edges being at right angle to the recessed areas.

The recessed area can be textured or a darker antique finish added  or colour-filled depending on the design and finish requirements.

The thickness of the 2D process is either 2.5 mm, 3 mm or 4 mm

2D Medals, Coins and Lapel Pin Badges are more economical to manufacture and can be produced in a shorter time frame.











Note there are only two levels on a 2D Process


3D  is basically made of Sculptured Heights:

 The 3D process incorporates slopes and curves on many different levels to provide a unique coin or medal.

 Instead of the raised surface being straight up and down – all surfaces and profiles can be rounded and sculptured to maximize the realistic effect.

 3D is more expensive to manufacture than 2D and the time scale can be longer.











Note the different levels on a 3D Process



2D side view section explaination 3D side view section explaination pantone colour chart yellow to green pantone colour chart yellow to brown red Pantone colour chart pantone colour chart pink to burgundy pantone colour chart pink to maroon pantone colour chart pink to navey pantone colour charg lilac to navy pantone  colour chart light blue to navy pantone colour chart light green to dark green pantone colour chart light green to bottle pantone colour chart lt green to olive pantone colour chart yellow to black pantone colour charg light grey to warm grey pantone colour charte light grewy to beige pantone colour chart beige to crimson pantone 16 pantone 17 pantone 18 pantone 19 pantone 20 pantone 21 pantone 22

Pantone Colour chart

This chart is intended as a reference guide only. Colours displayed may not

exactly match   PANTONE™    identified colour standards.

Use current PANTONE Color Publications for most accurate color.

Scroll down

for Pantone Colours

rainbow arrow colour pantones