Types of Medal Materials

Types of Medal Materials

Across centuries, medal designs encounter drastic changes just as other awards do. Big, rough-looking medals are transformed into small, smooth, polished disks through time. The materials for creating medals also changed: people have now started using alternatives from metals such as glass and acrylic.  

To know what makes a metal medal from a glass medal, and how a glass medal differs from an acrylic medal, read on!


Metals are the traditional and most common materials used in creating medals. This is because, before the digital era, malleable materials are highly preferable as ancient craftsmen can easily imprint and engrave on them. Metals are also considered valuable for their rarity, and a material’s value reflects the medal’s. Since ancient Greek Olympic competitions, medals have been created out of gold, silver, bronze, and copper. Through the years, however, metal options for medals expanded, and platinum, iron, and tin were added. 


Humankind’s quest to produce new trends gave birth to glass medals. Unlike metal medals, glass medals evoke modernity and a certain stylish edge that traditional-looking metal medals lack. Glass medals are usually preferred by corporations and prestigious universities during awarding ceremonies, as it is easier to incorporate digital images on glass materials than on metals. Images in glass medals can also be digitally colored.


Acrylic medals look very similar to glass medals, except for acrylic’s lack of luster. Glass medals are shinier than acrylic. However, acrylic medals are cheaper, making them more in demand by small organizations and small private schools. Colored, digital images can also be incorporated in acrylic medals. They are usually graced with silky, colorful ribbons and can vary in shapes from the usual round to oval and diamond. 

For customized metal, glass, and acrylic medals, contact Craftmen Enterprises today! You can reach us through Facebook so we can discuss your design preferences!

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