Enamel Pin Grading System
The grading system I use for my enamel pins consists of four grades:
- Collector Grade
- Jacket Grade
- Seconds Grade
- Salvage Grade
Collector Grade pins are as close to perfect as they come. From a batch of 100, I might get 15 Collector Grade pins, but this will vary from order to order.
Enamel pins are handmade, and very few pins come out of the production process without minor, hardly noticeable imperfections.
My Jacket Grade pins are very close to perfect, and any defects will be difficult to spot. Jacket Grade pins may also be referred to as “Standard Grade” pins.
Jacket Grade pins might show minor signs of:
- Tiny specs of dust in non-central parts of the design
- Tiny imperfections in the metal plating
- Light, hardly noticeable scratches
- Teeny-tiny chips in the enamel
- Minor underfilling in non-central parts of the design
- Minor areas of missing filling
Jacket Grade pins will only have a small amount of the imperfections mentioned above. If a pin has a lot of Jacket Grade defects, I will classify it as a Seconds Grade pin.
My Seconds Grade pins have more noticeable flaws. Seconds pins don’t always look great for close-up photography, but they’re beautiful additions to backpacks, bags, and pinboards, and are a great choice if you like to wear your pins.
Defects in Second Grade pins might be, and are not limited to:
- Underfilled areas.
- Large specs of dust or paint.
- Small paint smudges.
- Small areas with the wrong color fill.
- Scratches in screen-printed details.
- Multiple imperfections in the metal, such as scratches, overfilling, tarnish and more.
- One or more air bubbles in the enamel.
Salvage Grade / C Grade
My Salvage Grade pins have highly noticeable defects or in some cases peculiar differences from the original designs. This might include, but are not limited to:
- Large areas of underfilled, overfilled or missing enamel.
- Tarnished, dented or scratched metal.
- Large areas of the wrong color enamel.
- Large chips, scratches, holes or cracks in the enamel.
- Glow-in-the-dark effect doesn’t work.
- Large areas of missing glitter.
- Large areas of dust, hair or spots in the enamel.
- Loose back posts.