• USD
  • EUR
  • BGN

Dropdown Categories



About the pins


A pin (also called "button" or "badge") is a small object  often worn on the lapel of a dress jacket – that’s why it is also called Lapel Pin
During the years of collecting and dealing with pins and badges I have realized that collectors and dealers are using different, sometimes controversial terms and phrases in order to describe them.  This leads sometimes to misunderstandings and disputes. I tried to generalize all the terms and phrases I have read and heard and to use the most appropriate ones in my descriptions.
Some of them I use thanks to Craig Perlow and his site Olympian Artifacts.

Finishing – refers to the technology and material from which the front side of the pin is made

In the die struck manufacturing process there are five basic types of pins: cloisonné, soft enamel, photo etched, screen printed and offset printed. In all processes, the outer shape of the pin is either stamped out from a sheet of steel, aluminum, copper, brass or iron or photo etched
I use the following terms:
Cloisonné enamel
Sometimes called epola or hard enamel, cloisonné is stamped out from a sheet of copper. The stamping leaves recessed areas, or pools, which are filled with enamel powder and high fired at 800 - 900 degrees. After cooling, the surface of the pin is ground down to a smooth finish and then the copper usually is plated. Nowadays the manufacturers use a cheaper technology called Imitation Cloisonne – I think the main difference is in the filling material and the lower firing temperature. The final vision is the same and only a specialist can catch the difference.
Raised enamel
The process is like of cloisonné enamel, but the areas of color are filled with soft enamel (sometimes paint).  Unlike cloisonné, the areas of color rest below the metal strip surface, which can be felt when you run your finger over the surface. I use the same term for photo etched pins. In the photo etch process, only the shape of the piece is stamped out. The design on the face of the pin, is chemically etched into the base metal, then color-filled by hand and baked or just painted.
Domed enamel
When stamped out pins or photo etched pins are colored with soft enamel or painted and after that are covered with protective epoxy
Screen Printed
Screen printing,  (silk screening) is produced by applying each color to the metal base using a "silk screen" process. A very thin epoxy coat protects the color material from scratching.
Offset  Process
Offset printing, allows for bleeds and blends of colors, as is used in magazines. The colors are printed in the traditional CMYK process. This style can be used for complex art and photo reproduction. An unlimited amount of colors can be used.
Domed Screen or Offset Label
The printing process as above is applied on a paper or plastic label which is fitted into the pin area and then covered either by epoxy or other plastic material.
Button pin
A campaign button is used in an election as political advertising for (or against) a candidate or political party, or to proclaim the issues that are part of the political platform. Political buttons date as far back as President George Washington. Usually they have been attached to the buttons hence the name came. Nowadays they are widely used and have pins on the back and are celled pin-back buttons.

Closure – refers to the type of fastening the pin to the lapel.

Tack back or clasp
Clutch back
Bent pin back
Bent pin back (or just pin back)
Long pin back (stick pin)
Slide back (button hole pin)
Latch (swivel, folding pin) back
Flopping (floppy) bent pin back
Safety pin
(Floppy) Safety pin back
Loop back
Loop back
Screw back
Button screw
Button screw back
Pin-back button 
Scroll To Top