View Full Version : Military coin holders

Martin Boekers
11-30-2008, 4:53 PM
I promised awhile back I'd post some recent projects I've produced for the military.

These are a few of the coin holders. I used .1875in acrylic for the main board, on all but the single coin the acrylic is sandwiched between glass.

The coins are press fit to hold tight. One thing about these is even though the coins are say 1.5 or 1.75in in dia they can vary quite a bit!

I do enough of these I had to find a better way to size the dia. I finally decided to cut a template for sizing the coins out of the same acrylic. Taking the diameter of each size (typically 1.5, 1.75, or 2in) the I do increments of .001in two forward and two back.

Now when I do one I take the templates and see which fits the coin perfectly, this cutout template has saved me much time!

On the single coin one, I used a black base from Huang Acrylic ($2.50) Plus acrylic ($1.00) I cut a hole in the base to snug fit the acrylic. Gives me a good mark up for pricing and is popular way to display single coins (they can see front and back). The coins are press fit so not damaged with glues or adhesive.


Margaret Turco
11-30-2008, 5:28 PM
Martin, Those are beautifully done! Great work and they must be so happy to be able to display their coins in this unique way.

Frank Corker
11-30-2008, 7:48 PM
Fabulous Martin. Cracking job on the wooden frames by the way.

Martin Boekers
11-30-2008, 8:13 PM
Thanks again, these started out with just a couple coins, then a couple more and a few more. the last one I finished was the one with the stripes 13 coins! Out of the thirteen coins there were 11 different diameter cuts!

I had to come up with a system, it really made life easier!


Steve Clarkson
11-30-2008, 8:31 PM

Absolutely beautiful and a great system too!

Stephen Beckham
11-30-2008, 8:51 PM

Love your work - I just ordered some mirror backed Acrylic frames. I plan on doing something similar with cutting in the coin and etching on the acrylic. Hope they turn out as nice...

On the 'system' you talk of.... I use a caliper for precise diameter (plus or minus .001 of course). I then off focus one click high - causing an angled cut in the 1/4" acrylic (hour glass shape of the laser beam). The front is exact diameter and the back is slightly larger - then that allows me to squeeze the coin into place from the rear and have it wedged.

I'd love to hear you system to see if I'm making it too difficult or not..


Greg Schumacher
12-01-2008, 11:47 AM
Outstanding!! Just a couple of questions to satisfy my curiosity, when you say sandwiched between glass, does that mean only one pane of glass in front or are you putting glass in the front and the back? Also, are you making sure that the coins are exactly flush with the sheet of acrylic?

Thanks for the super idea.

Keith Outten
12-01-2008, 12:36 PM
Another option!

Put the coin in the freezer for a few minutes, it will fit the hole and tighten up as the coin warms back up to ambient temperature.

For the record the silver dollars from the 1920's wil fit inside the ID of 1.5" shecdule 80 stainless steel pipe if you put the dollar in the freezer for a few minutes. An old belt buckle trick :)

Angus Hines
12-01-2008, 1:05 PM
Keith that's how Ferrari does the valve seats in their aluminum heads, dip them in liquid nitrogen and then press into the head. Seems to work well for them.

Todd Suire
05-28-2009, 12:46 PM

As a Marine veteran, I must say that your displays are just Outstanding! I have a collection of coins myself, and as soon as I can get some acrylic ordered I'll try this out.

I also live near an Army base and I'm sure this would go over very well with them.

Todd Suire
05-28-2009, 12:50 PM
After looking at the Air Force coins, I have a question.

How do you get the outline of the coin into your design software for cutting with the laser?

Martin Boekers
05-28-2009, 1:13 PM
For the round coins, draw a circle then set the diameter to what you need.

The shield shaped coins were a bit more difficult.

I scanned the coin at 100% then imported it into Corel.
Using the pen tool I drew a hairline around the perimeter of the coin.

That got me close. I fudged it slightly larger (not much) that way I could apply a bit of super glue to the edge (not to glue it into the plex) but enough to slightly build up a layer on the coin's edge.

I do that until it builds up enough to make a snug fit when I press it into position.

Hope that helps,


Belinda Williamson
05-28-2009, 1:42 PM
Great work Marty!

Dee Gallo
05-28-2009, 2:09 PM
Nice design, great invention - makes me want to find some coins and make one!

:) dee

Mike Null
05-28-2009, 2:22 PM

Now I know what happened to my coin box business.:(

Great job all the way around.

Marty and I do share Scott AFB as a customer though Marty has the inside track as he's on base. Not to mention that he does some very nice work.

Martin Boekers
05-28-2009, 4:15 PM

The single one that I did for myself with the coin I recieved from Gen McNabb was made from a standard black base I laser cut for the clear acrylic sheet to slide in was purchased from Huang Acrylic.

I used cast Acrylite Acrylic 3/16" just about perfect size for the coins to fit.

I also made a template test sheet with circles cut in progressive diameters of .01". that way I can test the coins to see which fits the best. That has saved me hours of work as even though the coins are technically the same size 1/100 of an inch can make a difference in the fit.


Todd Suire
05-29-2009, 5:43 PM

Thanks for all the info. I had noticed your original post about the template and was very impressed with the idea.

Also, I like your process for the shield-shaped coins. I don't have any of those myself, but it will come in handy for any non-round coins customers may have. Nowadays, coins are coming out in all shapes and sizes.