How I Grade Enamel Pins
All the enamel pins in my store are designed and graded by me, and I pride myself in delivering outstanding quality. Although all enamel pins on this planet will have some sort of signs from the production process, I do my best to keep these to an absolute minimum in my A Grades.
My enamel pins are graded into three categories: A Grade, B Grade and C Grade. In addition, I have an “A- Grade” which applies to Kickstarters, pin clubs and pre-orders.
A Grade pins are the absolute best of the batch and they showcase outstanding quality. However, A Grade pins may still feature minor a couple of imperfections such as, but not limited to:
- Tiny marks or dots in non-central areas of the design
- Tiny imperfections on the plating
- Glitter pins may have minor traces of dust/burnt glitter
- Epoxy may contain air bubbles and/or minor debris
- The positioning of printed details may vary slightly (within reason)
- Printed details may have small marks or edge imperfections
- Minor flaws around the edges (rare)
- Minor areas of underfilled enamel (rare)
In addition, translucent enamel pins are likely to display minor imperfections which are caused by their production process:
- Air bubbles
- Uneven enamel (that’s how translucent enamel is supposed to be)
- Visible lines and marks on the back
- Plating imperfections where the enamel meets the metal plating
If you would like me to inspect your pins closely before I ship them, please leaved me a note at checkout and I will do my best.
A- Grade pins is a category reserved solely for pre-production projects. This refers to projects where the pins are heavily discounted due to not having been made yet, such as:
“A-“ simply means:
- I aim to provide you with A Grade pins
- However, some pins may display imperfections that wouldn’t normally be accepted into my A Grade category
If you’d like to avoid this, I recommend you wait until the pins have been made instead. All non-preorder pins in my store are A Grades unless explicitly marked otherwise.
B Grade pins are still really nice pins, but they display visible flaws. Such flaws can include, but are not limited to:
- Underfilled enamel
- Dirty/smudged enamel or printed details
- Scratched, burnt or discoloured plating
- Small scratches, chips or holes in the enamel
- Air bubbles, dust, debris or paint specs in the enamel.
- Smaller areas of tarnished plating
- Smaller areas of missing plating
B Grade pins are considered faulty items, and are therefore non-returnable and non-refundable.
C Grade pins feature unique flaws that make them look quite different from the original design. Such flaws can be, but are not limited to:
- Large or central areas of missing/underfilled enamel
- Wrong color used in certain areas
- Wrong plating used
- Discolored plating
- Heavily damaged plating
- Severe scratches, smudges, discoloration, or similar
- Missing or faulty pin backs (every pin will have at least one pin back attached though)
- Missing or inaccurate print details
C Grade pins are considered faulty items, and are therefore non-returnable and non-refundable.
Oopsie Grades refer to products that aren’t technically faulty, but they’ve been made with incorrect visual features, which makes them faulty in relation to the design.
Oopsie Grades may still display B Grade imperfections.
Oopsie Grade products are considered faulty items, and are therefore non-returnable and non-refundable.
Notes on specific features
I currently use three types of pin backs:
- Ball-joint pin backs
- Soldiered-on pin backs
- Glued-on pin backs (wooden and acrylic pins only)
Ball-joint pin backs:
Ball-joint pin backs are super secure, and they’re commonly used with zinc alloy pins. They’re sometimes a bit wiggly, which can be confused with being faulty, but a slightly wiggly ball-joint pin is perfectly normal. Since the pin is safely secured within a joint, it’s rarely in danger of falling off.
Soldiered-on pin backs:
Soldiered-on pin backs are my favorite type of pin backs. However, they’re typically only used with iron pins (thick pins with non-intricate edge details).
If a soldiered-on pin back bends, you can generally bend it back without ever being worried about it breaking. But if it comes lose, that’s a problem. Whereas ball-jointed pins can be wiggly by nature, a soldiered-on pin back should never wobble.
If you believe you’ve received a wobbly soldiered-on pin back, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.
Glued-on pin backs:
Glued-on pin backs are your regular crafting-type pin backs. I use these for wooden pins and acrylic pins.
The reverse side of your pin may show scratches, burn marks, or other quirky signs from the production process. I do not grade visual traits of the reverse side of pins.
However, if a perfect reverse side is important to you, please feel free to contact me before placing an order, or request an extra quality check at checkout. I can’t guarantee a perfect reverse side, but I will do my best ^^
All my pins come with rubber clutches unless otherwise specified. I do check these for visual flaws, but minor imperfections are to be expected.
Please never hesitate to contact me if you have questions, requests or suggestions. I’m an easy-going person and always happy to chat 🙂