And while I can get gold coated silver to achieve that awesome 2-toned look when you engrave, it is ridiculously expensive.
The majority of these 2-tone trophy materials are plastic...but there are coated metals out there.
So, after calling, and calling.....and calling. I finally found a trophy engraving supply place that was willing to mail me some metal samples. and turns out I can purchase the metals in sheets large enough for crowns (just need to have them cut down into strips like I have all my other metals cut).
So here are some test pix of these samples. What you are seeing are various colors of lacquered aluminum. I can also get lacquered brass. I was most interested in the "metal" colors...gold coated aluminum, copper coated. But I also got a "color"....white.
Pretty good "metal" finishes, huh??! I was very pleasantly surprised!
Close-ups of the "copper"
Shiny Gold, Matte Gold
white and shiny "silver". The shiny silver differs from just plain solid aluminum (like what I normally use) in that you get a much more uniform grain to the metal...and it's more reflective/shinier as well.
The white coated aluminum was actually really difficult to engrave. I have to use a cutter first, and then i go back over it with a 90 degree bit to kind of emboss/shine up the aluminum, so you don't see rough cuts. The diamond tip bits I use on everything else just can't get through the plastic uniformly (see that really messed section on the white??!). But doing an initial pass with a cutter, and then putting on the diamond bit works really well. a little extra work, but it's worth it for that pretty of a result.
So..I think I'm going to have to order in several sheets of this material in a variety of colors and start making crowns out of it!!! so be on the look out for some really awesome 2-tone metal crowns! (no, I haven't set a price, yet.)