Pin grading is an essential process to ensure the product’s quality. Every pin maker has his own grading system and his tolerance threshold, but it usually starts with a visual appreciation of the pin. I look for any potential defect, scratch, missing color area, spot, … Pins are categorized in three groups, the list below clarify the meaning of each grades. Please keep in mind that enamel pins are handmade item, they cannot be 100% perfect.
A grade pins (standard)
It’s the highest quality, some may have minor defects only visible during a thorough examination, but they still look very nice.
Some example of A grade defects:
- Slight color/glitter overflow
- Unnoticeable rubbles
- Minor imperfections
B grade pins (second)
They are close to A grade, nevertheless they have noticeable flaws. Obviously, it involves a lower price.
- Thicker metal lines
- Slight oxidation of the metal
- Minor air bubbles, scratches, dents
- Small color overflow
- Dark spots on glitter
- Negligible glitter’s missing areas
- Noticeable underfilled areas (color or polish)
C grades (bad)
Those pins are the most flawed. This are the mains flaws:
- Oxidation (main cause)
- Important scratches, spots
- Lack of polish
- Wrong color
- Unfilled areas
- Large glitter overflow
- Air bubbles
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