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What are Lapel Pins?

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  • Written By: J. Dellaporta
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A lapel pin is a small decorative badge worn, as the name suggests, on a lapel or sometimes a collar. Lapel pins are metal and also referred to as bar pins, although lapel pin is more common.

Since they are a purely cosmetic adornment, lapel pins are designed to keep the portion that fastens to clothing from being visible. On the back of lapel pins, a metal pin or bar is bent to form a clasp, threaded, and then bent back. Because the pin is not visible when worn, it cannot distract from the design of the lapel pin which is therefore more aesthetically pleasing. Lapel pins can be custom-made according to a customer's design. However, there are many different types of lapel pins available, so one should compare them in order to select the one best suited for the desired look.

A cloisonné lapel pin has a jewelry-like gloss. The design is made into a die, which is used to make an impression in bronze copper. A separate die cuts off the excess metal. Each color is individually filled in by hand with a mixture similar to crushed glass, and then cooked at high temperature. This prevents the colors from mixing. The lapel pin is then hand polished and plated with gold or silver. This is the most collected and most valuable type of lapel pin.

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Less expensive is the embossed pin, which has colors made from soft enamel and recessed on the surface of the pin, while the bare metal areas are slightly raised. For intricate designs with complex colors, the design can be silk-screened onto the lapel pin or even printed directly onto the brass. It is also possible to transfer photographs to a lapel pin.

With the exception of the cloisonné lapel pin, whose plating protects its surface, lapel pins all receive a layer of epoxy to protect the paint. If the design has no color, a popular choice is a die-struck pin. A die creates an impression of your design in plain metal, which is then polished.

Because they can be custom-made, lapel pins can serve countless different purposes. They are often used as commemorative gifts to employees or made with a company logo to be worn in the workplace or at office gatherings. They can also be designed to mark a special occasion or to promote a particular cause at a fundraiser. In addition, many clubs and sports teams issue pins to mark special milestones or events. These lapel pins can become highly sought after by collectors.

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