Pin Grading

This is an explanation on how I grade my pins and what you can expect to receive.  The grade of the pin is reflected in its cost.

For enamel pins, each colour of the design is added by hand, hardened at high temperature, and then polished by hand, so there are various points in the process where imperfections can happen. No two pins end up being alike.

In order to grade my pins – I assess **how they look approximately an arms length away**, then give a grade of either ‘Standard’ or ‘Seconds’.

What does Standard grade mean?  

My Standard grade is pretty comparable to A grades other stores.  There may still be one or two small imperfections, but nothing that is obvious at arms length. 

Standard grade pins may have and could have one of the following, but these are only seen on closer inspection of the pin:

  • tiny air bubbles or dust specks trapped in the enamel
  • minor enamel underfill
  • minor / small metal plating imperfections or
  • faint scratches to the enamel (usually found with rainbow plating or larger areas on plating in the design)
  • imperfections around the sides or back of the pin

What does ‘Seconds’ grade mean?                                                                    

These are pins with flaws that are more obvious *at arms length*.

Other makers tend to refer to these pins as B grades. While some people display their pins, many wear them. Seconds grade pins are mostly intended to be worn on jackets, bags, and hats. They are cheaper in price than the Standard grade pins as well.

The grade guidelines for Seconds pins are:

  • multiple imperfections from the standard grade list
  • more noticeable dust / bubbles or specks in the enamel
  • small areas of missing enamel
  • moderately scratched or nicked enamel or metal
  • texture or smudges on the enamel
  • ‘swirls’ in the enamel colour
  • incorrect glitter
  • missing plating or flaking plating

I would recommend using a locking back if you plan to use these pins on bags / jackets.

C Grade

In some instances there will be pins that do not fall into either the Standard or Seconds grading.  These will be classed as C Grade.

These pins will have noticeable flaws when held at arm’s length, 

  • multiple imperfections from the Seconds grade list
  • large dust / bubbles or specks in the enamel
  • large areas of missing enamel
  • scratched or nicked enamel or metal
  • noticeable texture or smudges on the enamel
  • noticeable ‘swirls’ in the enamel colour
  • large areas of incorrect glitter
  • significant missing plating or flaking plating

I generally do not sell these in my online shop in the normal listings – but may, from time to time, offer them for sale in specific ‘flawed’ or ‘C Grade’ sales.

These pins will be significantly discounted due to the higher percentage of flaws they may be subject to.