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Create a Metal Coin in Photoshop
Tutorials Textures and Patterns 90474 April 26th, 2018

Learn how to create a metal coin in Photoshop using some basic layer styles. For the coin center image I will use the emboss filter that will add a 3D effect. You will also get the free coin PSD mockup file to create your own coins with minimum effort with the use of smart objects. Simply add your image inside the smart object and save.

Challenge Coin Design Template

Military commanders offer pocket-sized medallions known as challenge coins to service personnel as a form of camaraderie. A commander's one-of-a-kind coin, usually made of copper, bronze, or nickel, bears insignia and mottos representing the unit or office.

Coin PSD Photoshop Coin Tutorial

Start by creating a background; you can use any texture you want for the background, I decide to use a dark brown leather texture that you can find here.

Use the Ellipse Tool and keep the SHIFT key pressed while drawing to create a circle shape. Color for the shape is #6d6d6d

Photoshop Coin Tutorial

Duplicate the Circle Layer and use the Path Selection Tool to select the shape. Press CTRL+C to copy and CTRL+V to paste the shape into the same layer (Circle 2 Layer). Use the transform Tool to scale the circle to around 95%

Photoshop Coin Tutorial

Use the Path Selection Tool to select the second circle shape inside the Circle 2 Layer and press Subtract from shape area.

Photoshop Coin Tutorial

Let's add some decorations that every must have; for that purpose I will use my Circle Photoshop Shapes. Inside the CSH file you will find star circles, dotts circles and so on. Plentry to choose from. So add the decorations that you like.

Photoshop Coin Template

Now we have to add some layer styles to the Circle 2 Layer and to the Start Dots Circle Shapes. Set the Fill of both layers to 0%. You can use some of these amazing Letterpress and Emboss Photoshop Styles with small adjustments.

Photoshop Coin Tutorial Photoshop Coin Tutorial Photoshop Coin Tutorial Photoshop Coin Tutorial

After small adjustments especially for the Circle 2 Layer your result should look similar to this one. You can download the PSD file to get the exact layer styles and other settings.

Photoshop Coin Tutorial

I will use this girl portrait(the original image is no longer available) to create a bas-relief effect in the center of the image. I will explain in just a few quick steps the process. Inside the PSD file you will find a smart object that you can use to add your own image.

So open the image and desaturate it to obtain a black and white effect; cut the image into a circle shape like shown in the preview.

Go to Filter > Stylize and choose Emboss using these settings.

Set the Blend mode of this layer to Overlay; you can duplicate the girl layer and set the opacity to around 50% or less to obtain a bigger contrast.

You can add further details like some text, year, etc. Add also emboss layer style to all the added items.

Add Metal Texture in Photoshop

The only thing left to do is to texturize the coin using a metal texture or gold texture. I will use this grunge metal texture with a Overlay blend mode. Browse through our metal texture collection if you want to choose a different one. You can desaturate a little the texture or change the color tones using Hue/Saturation adjustment.

Here are some other textures that you can use with Overlay blend mode, opacity 50% or less:

Add Drop Shadow effect, add some light and shadow effects and this is it, you have a pretty nice coin effect made in Photoshop using some simple techniques.


You can now DOWNLOAD PSD FILE(5MB) and inside you will find all the Photoshop coin template with layer styles intact and also an easy to use smart object called ADD YOUR IMAGE INSIDE. Simply double click on the smart object thumbnail and a new PSD file will be opened with a new smart object; make the same steps until you get to the image. Now simply replace with your own image and save and close all the smart objects to see the results. It's very easy to create your own challenge coin design.

Here are some examples of what you can create using this coin photoshop tutorial; if you want to obtain more professional and realistic coins you can try this amazing Photoshop Coin Generator that you can purchase from graphicriver.

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Here you have some premium Photoshop actions that you can use for creating great looking metal effects with just 1-click. Easy to use and customize.

Riveted Metal Photoshop Creator

Challenge Coin Design Photoshop Software

Engraved Metal Photoshop Creator

Engraved Metal Coin

Vintage Metal Sign Photoshop Action

5 ( 107 votes)

If you're looking for amazing textures and backgrounds for Photoshop, explore Textures4Photoshop where you can find 1000+ unique images. You can download all these textures and backgrounds for free to use in personal or commercial projects!

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11 comment(s) for "Create a Metal Coin in Photoshop"

2:26 AM Thursday, June 27, 2013
Here is a great Photoshop action generator for creating realistic coins reply
1:08 AM Friday, November 1, 2013
A fully editable dollar photoshop template. You can customize ALL texts, signatures, values, codes, pictures keeping the original styles. You can also place your own face in front side, and another picture in back side. You can create engrave effect for your photos.

12:40 AM Wednesday, December 11, 2013
This is a set of 7 Photoshop Layer Styles totally identical to those of the dollar bill. Add Photoshop money layer styles to your text or shape.

DOWNLOAD Money Photoshop Styles
Erwin Limon
Erwin Limon
4:35 AM Tuesday, November 11, 2014
hello, where is the PSD file? thanks. reply
4:36 AM Tuesday, November 11, 2014
This is the link:
But you have to Register/Login to download it. reply
2:34 AM Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Engraving Metal Photoshop Creator

This set contains 9 Photoshop actions with styles intact that will allow you to create realistic engraved and embossed metal in Photoshop out of any text, vector shape, raster image, photo and illustration. reply
1:20 AM Friday, January 23, 2015
While I appreciate your tutorial, I cannot get past step #1, or 2. I am using a transparent background, and trying to make the first circle, but nothing is filling in, it's only making a selection.

Is the first circle a new fill layer or not? please help and be more specific. because if I cannot get past step one, you're not a good tutor. not my fault. im following the instructions as you said, and nothing works like your pictures. reply
1:26 AM Friday, January 23, 2015
For this tutorial you have to know how to work with shapes, so I guess it is not for a complete beginner.
What fill layer are you talking about? The first circle was created using the Ellipse Tool. Make sure you have the Shape Layers selected and not the Paths. reply
Adyson Rancourt
Adyson Rancourt
1:45 AM Thursday, May 4, 2017
Awesome tutorial, which program do you use? Adobe Photoshop? Thanks :) reply
1:46 AM Thursday, May 4, 2017
Yes, this is a tutorial on how to create a coin in Adobe Photoshop :) reply
1:06 PM Monday, April 29, 2019
Good tutorial.

Tripiyon reply

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