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Pin Grading Scale

There exists a few grades of pins. Everyone's criteria for what makes an A Grade (Standard) versus a B Grade (Second) is different, but these are mine. I use this grading scale to determine which of my pins is considered a Standard Grade (A Grade) or a Seconds Grade (B Grade) and more. Please keep in mind that pins are handmade and therefore rarely perfect.

A Grade or Standard (as I like to call them)

Pins are handmade items and very few pins are perfect, but these come close. These are pins that have some very minor faults to them. Some of these minor faults include:

  • minor enamel underfill
  • minor dust or lint on soft enamel pins
  • light scratches that are only noticeable in a specific angle
  • minor amount of missing plating on rainbow metal that's only visible in a specific angle
  • minor notch on metal
  • minor amount of enamel colour difference that isn't really noticeable
  • minor amount of single glitter pieces on soft enamel
  • very small dots of colour (about 0,5mm in size or less)
  • minor enamel overfill
  • minor amount of missing plating on the outer verge/sides of the pin
  • some bubbles in stained glass pins
  • minor flaws regarding the cut out of stained glass pins; the smaller the cut out the more difficult to make the cut out clear
  • a small amount of dust or dirt particles in stained glass pins

Please notice that there might be Standard pins that have a kind of blemish I didn't list here. This chart is supposed to give a better image of what to expect when ordering something from my shop.

Standard pins are sold at full price. I make sure to thoroughly check every single pin.


B Grade or Seconds (as I like to call them)

These pins have noticeable flaws, some more minor or major than others. Some of the flaws that would qualify a pin as a B grade include:


  • more noticeable enamel underfill
  • more dust or lint on soft enamel pins
  • noticeable scratches on enamel or plating
  • up to one third of plating missing on rainbow metal
  • plating missing on soft enamel as well as hard enamel (except rainbow metal), if in the front and noticeable
  • larger notch on metal
  • larger amount of enamel colour differene that is more visible
  • larger amount of glitter in areas where it's not supposed to be
  • a larger amount of small dots
  • larger amount of missing plating on the outer verge/sides of the pin
  • multiple points of imperfection on enamel and/or plating
  • missing metal lines if it is visible/noticeable
  • multiple air bubbles in enamel
  • missing enamel/unfilled areas of enamel
  • areas of low glitter
  • overfilled enamel that floods a larger amount of metal lines
  • enamel staining
  • off-set screen printed areas
  • larger amounts of bubbles in stained glass pins
  • larger flaws regarding the cut outs of stained glass pins up to nearly no cut out in bigger areas 
  • more dust or dirt particles in stained glass pins

A Seconds might not be as flawless as a Standard, but most of the time the flaws of a Seconds are not noticeable from an arm length away. Most of the time they are very minor and only noticeable from a specific angle.


B- (minus) Grade

Sometimes it might happen that I add B- Grades to the shop, which are seconds with more visible flaws than a normal seconds comes with, but still not that bad that they could be considered Junk.


C Grade or Junk

  • large and very noticeable enamel underfill
  • large amount of dust/lint
  • large or deep scratches/notches on metal or enamel
  • chunks of enamel missing
  • more than a third of plating missing on rainbow metal
  • large amount of imperfections
  • large amount of missing enamel/unfilled areas of enamel
  • multiple areas where glitter has been misapplied
  • large or multiple areas of missing metal lines
  • heavily discoloured or stained enamel
  • colour changing enamel does not colour shift

I haven't decided yet if I want to sell those pins because I don't think that somebody would want these.