Which Material Is Best For a Personalized Trophy

The act of giving and receiving a trophy is still a special part of teamwork, relationship building, and celebration. Owning a physical reminder of our successes inspires us to continue seeking further accomplishments and push ourselves toward greatness. Great celebrations deserve great trophies, so it’s worth your time to seek out all your options and find out which material is best for a personalized trophy that will honor your event.

Before Choosing the Material

Before choosing the style and material you want for the award, you should consider the purpose, longevity, and presentation of the trophy.


You can celebrate many events and milestones with a trophy. It shows the reward recipient your support and gives them a lasting representation of their accomplishment. Different kinds of successes warrant different trophies, however. The most iconic trophy that may come to mind is the sports trophy, typically donned with a small figurine and engraved with the name of the winning team or star player. Alternatively, company leadership awards would require something more elegant, like a plaque commemorating the top-earning employee.


Consider the desired longevity of your trophy. Will team members exchange the award each time the title transfers? Is this anniversary gift a tribute to decades of love that should last just as long? Material and style will greatly affect how long your trophy lasts, whether it sits on a display or the whole team passes it around and shows it off. Keep in mind the amount of handling done to the award and the environment it will exist in as you determine how long you expect it to maintain the original condition.


The shape and size of your trophy should play a factor in which one you choose; beyond the design looking good and suiting your milestone, how the trophy displays when gifted makes a big impression on the recipient. Nestling a stunning trophy inside a gift basket brings the reward experience to a new level, or you need to make trophies that are exchanged on stage big enough to see while not impeding the recipient’s ability to speak at a podium. Massive championship trophies commemorate school team wins well but gift a more refined award if it will sit on a boss’ shelf.

Trophy Styles

The style of trophy you choose will, in part, impact what material options are available to you. Keep the occasion in mind as you pick one of the following styles for your trophy.


With a reputation that harkens back to both middle school ceremonies and Presidential awards, medals are a small trophy worn around the winner’s neck during its presentation. Usually awarded on a ribbon with patriotic or team colors, medals are often double-sided and feature 3D designs or engraving.


Personal and focused on human achievement, figure trophies always have a figurine as the focal point of the design, either on the base of the trophy or on top of a column. Though there is a large range of figurine or figure trophies available, choosing the right one for the tone of the event matters. Plastic or resin figures go best with athletic accomplishment, while glass, acrylic, or crystal figures suit charitable actions and displays of empathy.


The most versatile of trophy styles, plaques celebrate a person, team, or company’s significant accomplishment by having the engraving as the focal point of the trophy’s design. Plaques come in many unique, stylish shapes and look great as part of a home or office display. There is also room for customization in the text style and decorative engravings on plaques. Depending on the type chosen, these trophies are either hung from the wall or displayed on a desk, shelf, or in a case.

Trophy Materials


Metal is what comes to mind when you imagine the textbook trophy. These awards have plenty of heft and add significance to any accomplishment, and gold is always synonymous with a win. Unfortunately, metal can also tarnish, scratch, and rust over time, so the price point of a metal trophy isn’t worth it if you are looking for an award that stands the test of time.

Plastic and Resin

Plastic and resin trophies are among the most familiar awards available. These typically consist of a plastic or resin icon atop a marble, plastic, or wood column with a wooden bottom. Engraving is usually limited to a small plaque on the base of the trophy. While familiar, these trophies are not long-lasting since it’s easy to break off plastic from the rest of the piece.


Wooden plaques are well-suited to hang on an office wall and provide a classy, vintage touch. These lightweight awards are easy to present alongside other rewards and pair nicely with black and gold. Wooden trophies require regular maintenance or general protection as exposure to moisture or certain insects can cause irreparable damage.


Crystal is, surprisingly, one of the best value options for award materials. Despite its lower cost, crystal boasts longevity and beauty. Deep-etch engraving the desired text directly into the crystal makes it long-lasting, and you can fill the text with color to add to the piece’s already standout design. Perfect for corporate and anniversary commemorations, crystal awards are a sleek way to honor success.

Thicker crystal awards can function without a base for a minimalist look. Yet, thinner designs often come on a beveled crystal base, maintaining the elegance of the overall trophy without interrupting the design.

When deciding which material is best for your personalized trophy, aside from the physical qualities of each material type and the stylistic needs of the occasion, it’s important to choose a high-quality source. At Crystal Central, we pride ourselves on our beautiful crystal awards, unique customization options, and easy online shopping experience. It is important to us that we present all options to our customers and help them make the most informed decision possible regarding such an important purchase. We look forward to assisting you in personalizing your crystal gifts and awards in the future!

Which Material Is Best For a Personalized Trophy

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