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What are the Different Types of Certificate Plaques?

By Nicole Long
Updated: May 17, 2024

Certificate plaques can be used to recognize a wide range of significant achievements in business, sports, and social causes. Plaques are traditionally made out of materials such as wood, acrylic, crystal, or stone. The certificate portion of the plaque is affixed or included through a variety of methods including Plexiglas, etching and engraving.

Recognition is one of the common reasons people are given a certificate plaque. In the business world, recognition for things such as employee of the month, years of service, and promotions are just a few of the reasons plaques are commonly handed out. Sports teams may recognize the most valuable player, championship wins, and position specific awards such as best defender, with a certificate. Other types of recognition plaques include those focused on thanking individuals and groups for their contributions or donations to social causes.

Certificate plaques come in many different styles. Some include an area for team photos or employee photos alongside an area for a certificate. Brass plates honoring individual achievements may be attached onto a certificate plaque for display in the office. In lieu of a traditional certificate, newspaper clippings or special publications may be used on certificate plaques.

One of the most common materials used for certificate plaques is wood. Various types of wood, including cherry, oak and maple provide an excellent backdrop for personalized certificates. Certificates may be adhered to wood through the use of adhesives or placed behind Plexiglas. Recognition type, name, and date may also be added to a wood certificate award with the addition of an engraved metal plaque.

Acrylic material is often used in a business setting when awarding clients or commemorating special events. This material allows for the placement of certificates and commemorative objects, such as coins, between layers of the material. Additionally, certificates can be affixed to the outside with the use of gold, brass, chrome, or silver grommets. This protects and preserves the certificate or award.

Crystal certificate plaques represent an alternative to the traditional wood certificate plaque. Etching is possible with crystal, adding a new dimension to the award. Crystal certificate plaques may be awarded for special occasions, such as retirements and employee of the year. This distinguishes achievements above and beyond the customary awards.

Certificate plaques used for memorial purposes are often constructed out of marble or granite. These plaques can be laser engraved with detailed information, including name and award type. Another option for marble and granite certificate plaques is to have a photograph or portrait laser engraved on the surface.

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