Create your own fantasy coin in Photoshop

In this tutorial I’ll be showing you how to turn designs and photos into shiny coins for your world!

I’ll be using a combination of textures, shapes, text and this neat lookin’ lizard from Pixabay to make this awesome coin!

Start up a new document and use the Elipse Tool (U) whilst holding shift to create a perfect circle. This will be the base of the coin.

Duplicate this layer (Ctrl/Cmd + J) and change the circle to a different colour.

Use the Transform Tool (Ctrl/Cmd + T) whilst holding shift & alt to scale it in place.

Next I’m going to add in the lizard photo I mentioned earlier.

I want the lizard to be contained within the inner circle, so to do this – Ctrl + Click on the layer thumbnail of the inner circle to select it’s area, then (with the lizard layer active) press the layer mask button (next to the fx button).

Select the image layer and desaturate it so that it’s grey. A quick way of doing this is to press Ctrl + Shift + U.

Now it’s time to make the lizard look more like it’s on the coin!

Select the layer and go to Filter > Stylize > Emboss and play around with the settings. If you increase the height it can make your image look blurry, so sometimes lower is better.

The whole thing looks very flat at the moment, but we’re going to fix that with layer styles.

Select the base circle and click on layer styles (the fx button). I’ve given this a basic colour overlay (but gradient overlays work well, too) and a small Bevel & Emboss.

I made sure to set the highlights and shadows to be of similar hues to the colour I’ve chosen.

Now let’s add some layer styles to the inner circle. To make sure that these effects show on top of the lizard, duplicate this layer and bring it to the top, then set the layer’s fill opacity to 0%.

This will ensure that the effects are visible, but the circle’s fill colour doesn’t block out the lizard.

For this effect, I added a bevel and emboss but set it to inner bevel and smooth.

I used a drop shadow using a light colour set to Color Dodge to add some extra depth to the coin.

This is looking great but I want to add some text on the coin!

Select the inner circle and use the type tool to type on the edge of the path. It will make a new text layer that you can then scale to where you want the text to be positioned.

A bold, thick text will show up best, and I used an inner shadow and a drop shadow instead of bevel & emboss to make this stand out.

Time for some textures! I used this metal texture from and put it just above my base circle layer. Ctrl + click the thumbnail of the base circle layer and then with the texture layer active, press the layer mask button so that it’s contained to the circle.

I set this texture layer to overlay and adjusted it a bit with Levels using Ctrl + L.

I then used this same technique but for the inner circle.

If you want to make a fancy display image of your coin, hide the background layer, create a new layer at the top and go Image > Apply Image.

Then go Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical and move the coin to below your original one.

Create a layer mask, and with it selected use a black to transparent gradient tool from the center of the lower coin to the center of the middle coin, like so:

That concludes this tutorial! I hope you picked up some new tricks today!

I’d love to see what coin design you come up with so let me know in the comments!

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