It took me a while to decide on what I wanted to make for this project, but I ended up going with a coin. It is simple and I am fond of coins.
I started out by attempting to make the coin using things like the extrude and shape tools. This was not going well, so I scrapped that and started again. This time I created two image files using paint.net, then I converted them to vector graphic files using inkscape.
I imported the vector graphics into blender and converted them into meshes. I then extruded the flat meshes in order to create the raised text.
After aligning the two faces, I added a flattened cylinder in between them in order to create the non-raised portion. I then combined the objects and working on getting the color and shine of metal.
After I was satisfied with the color and shine; I simply copied, rotated, and translated several coins in order to make the other side visible for a render.
The rendering took a few adjustments before I was happy with it, but the end result was worth the work.