About Pin Grades
What do the grades mean on enamel pins?
Enamel pins are manufactured in large batches and as is the case for any mass-made product, they do not always come out perfect! I grade my pins into 2 categories - A-grade and B-grade. A-grade pins are the "as intended" closest to perfection pins. B-grade pins have minor flaws and thus are sold at a small discount. Pins that I consider flawed enough to be "below B-grade" are not available to buy at all.
I check all the pins I sell before they go out! I check over every pin at arm's length and in natural light before carding them. I also do a quick once over when I pick a pin for packing.
More info about A-grade (standard / full price)
A-grade pins are the design as intended and have no obvious flaws. They are NOT necessarily perfect but they will be free of obvious flaws.
Pins with large sections of metal are unikely to be totally smooth as it's very difficult to have a perfectly polished pin. Please keep this in mind! In these cases, I consider minor marks to be acceptable.
Pins may have a 'brushed' appearance; this is due to the polishing process and I may not consider it a flaw.
Things that I do consider a flaw:
Scratches/dents, obvious underfill/overfill, missing enamel, dirty enamel, missing or wobbly pin posts, metal tarnish, any metal plating issue, any issue that compromises the design.
B Grade (minor flaws, discounted)
B-grade pins have minor flaws but still look good! They are ideal to wear in places where you think your pin is likely to see some wear and tear anyway, such as bags or hats. Or if you just aren't that fussy and would like to save some cash, they're great for that too!
Flaws you can expect to find on B-grade pins:
Bent or slightly wiggly (but still securely socketed) pin posts, scratches/dents in the enamel or metal, metal plating issues or tarnish, underfilled/overfilled enamel, enamel colour missing or chipped in places not as important to the design, stray glitter/dust caught in the enamel or epoxy.
Some B-grade pins have flaws that are barely noticeable. Others are pretty obvious. When you purchase a B-grade pin, there is an element of luck involved.