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The key to choosing the best enamel lapel pin is to know when and with what it will be worn or if it will simply be used for display. There are many different types of enamel lapel pins, and they are crafted through distinctly different processes, making them better suited for different uses. There is no one enamel pin that is better than another, and choosing the best is simply a matter of personal choice and the amount a person chooses to spend.
There are many different types of enamel lapel pins, including hard enamel pins, custom-etched, and die-struck, to name a few. While they all have their own distinct process of craftsmanship, they have one characteristic in common. These pins all have an enamel surface.
Enamel is a fire-resistant paint created from the combination of colored oxide mixed with finely ground glass. Regardless of the type, what makes the enamel lapel pin so unique is that its color will not fade over time. The color hues of enamel paint appear more brilliant and deeper than regular paint.
Hard enamel lapel pins are made through a process wherein, after the paint is applied, it is fired at a very high temperature to cure and completely harden it. When this process is concluded, the paint and the metal bordering it are at the same level. No ridges or distinctions can be felt on a hard enamel surface. This type of pin proves to be more costly than many others, and it is also the highest quality enamel.
Soft enamel lapel pins are made by filling in paint in the crevices of the pin's surface. The pain is not fired, but is instead allowed to go through a natural air-drying process. This type of pin does not feel or appear smooth. The metal ridges are easily detectable and appear clearly dimensional. This type of pin proves to be a less expensive choice and also a more popular one.
The soft enamel die-struck pin, also known as the soft enamel cloissione, is similar to the the soft enamel pin, except that after the die-struck paint is applied, it is fired under moderate heat. This creates an appearance of higher luster. This process is used on simple rather than ornate designs. These pins range in price; however, they are often more expensive than the soft enamel pins. Obviously, the choice of which type of enamel lapel pin to buy and wear most often comes down to price and purpose.
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