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Pin Grading

Due to the nature of pin manufacturing, flaws can be present in the pin. Enamel pins are graded to ensure quality and consistency. The grading system is based on a set of criteria that evaluate factors such as the appearance, color accuracy, and consistency of the enamel, as well as the metal finish, and plating.  I do not factor the appearance of reverse of the pin into the pin's grade.

A-grade enamel pins are considered “Acceptable” with no immediately visible flaws or imperfections from a reasonable distance.  A-grade pins are perfect for collectors or for display purposes. It's worth noting that for A-Grade pins, some small errors may be allowed, but they are not easily noticeable and do not compromise the overall quality of the pin. 

B-grade or “Seconds” enamel pins will have more readily noticeable imperfections. These pins are sold at a lower price point and are suitable for everyday wear and tear.

When evaluating enamel pins, the following are some of the key criteria used to determine their grade:

A-Grade Pin Qualifiers:

  • Accurate color: The colors are consistent with no noticeable variations or fading.
  • Smooth and consistent enamel finish: The enamel is applied evenly and smoothly, with no obvious visible bubbles, cracks, or chipping.
  • Sharp screen printing: The screen printing is clear and defined, with no smudging or blurring. It may overlap metal as part of the design.
  • Clean metal finish: The metal finish is shiny and free of defects, such as tarnishing, texture, or peeling.

B-Grade Pin Qualifiers:

  • Discoloration: There may be slight differences in color from the original design, or some fading of the enamel.
  • Minor enamel imperfections: There may be small bubbles or chips in the enamel, or slight variations in its fill consistency. 
  • Screen printing errors: There may be smudging, blurring, or misalignment in the screen printing. 
  • Metal finish imperfections: There may be scratches, tarnishing, or texture in the metal finish.
  • Multiple flaws: The pin may have multiple imperfections.