Decoding Enamel Pin Grades

Decoding Enamel Pin Grades

Posted by Joanna Behar on

Why are pins graded ?

And what is the difference between a standard grade & a B grade pin...


If you're a collector or a fan of enamel pins, you've probably noticed that pins are often categorized into different grades. These grades—A, B, and C—indicate the quality and condition of the pins. But what exactly do these grades mean? Let’s break it down!



A grade enamel pins are considered the highest quality, but that doesn't always mean they are completely flawless! Since enamel pins are often handmade, even A grade pins can have very small, barely noticeable imperfections.


  • Tiny air bubbles: Small pockets of air that can be present in the enamel.
  • Slight color variations
  • Tiny chips on the metal plating
  • Minor imperfections on screen print details
  • Tiny speckles or dots on the enamel
  • Tiny speckles in glitter details
  • Minor surface imperfections: Tiny scratches or marks that are almost unnoticeable.

When you purchase an A grade pin, you can expect it to be in excellent condition but not always perfect, they are the most ideal for collectors who value higher-quality pieces ! The enamel pins I sell will always be standard grade unless otherwise specified. 




B grade enamel pins, also known as “seconds” pins, have minor imperfections that are usually not very noticeable at first glance. These might include:


  • Slight color discrepancies: Small differences in color compared to the original design.
  • Tiny scratches: Minor surface scratches that don’t significantly affect the overall appearance.
  • Small bubbles: Slight air pockets within the enamel.
  • Minor enamel fill issues: Areas where the enamel didn’t fill perfectly.

Despite these imperfections, B grade pins are appealing as they a still visually attractive and enjoyable and most of all they are Cost-effective seeing how they are available at a lower price point !

They are a great option for fans who love the design but don’t mind a few small flaws.



C grade enamel pins have more noticeable defects. These can include:

  • Larger scratches
  • Significant color issues: Obvious color differences or mistakes.
  • Missing enamel: Areas where the enamel is absent or incomplete.
  • Other obvious imperfections: Any other flaws that are easily noticeable such as discolored plating, Heavily damaged plating, missing or inaccurate print details

Despite these flaws, C grade pins:

  • Capture the design essence
  • Are budget-friendly as they are Sold at a significant discount !

They are perfect for those who love the design and want to own a piece of it without worrying about perfection. These are perfect for everyday wear on jackets or backpacks as you won't worry about damaging your pins !


Understanding the different grades of enamel pins is important whether you're a collector or just someone who loves to accessorize with unique designs. The grading system helps set expectations about the pin's quality and price. While standard grade pins are perfect for display and gift-giving, B and C grade pins offer more budget-friendly options for fans who want to enjoy the artwork without the higher cost.

Next time you're shopping for enamel pins, keep these grades in mind. Whether you opt for the perfection of a standard grade, the minor flaws of a B grade, or the more obvious imperfections of a C grade, there’s a pin out there for every taste and budget. Happy collecting!

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