Trading Pins are labeled pins with a particular theme. With a lot of people who practice to buy, sell, exchange and collect pins, it has become a must have and tradition for different companies, tournaments and events in several places around the world. The different places where pins are commonly found are amusement parks and resorts. Companies sponsor and distribute pins. During sports events like Olympic Games, World Cup and Super Bowl, fans and participants collect pins as their souvenirs. Political pins ar also used during election campaigns as well as in military forces wherein they put flags of countries as designs. Ever wonder how pins are made? Pins are made in different ways depending on the type of printing and design. There are five types of pins such as soft enamel, photo etched, offset digital, silkscreen printed and die struck pins.
Soft enamel trading pins–
This cloisonne pin is hand crafted. It has raised round edges. The edges are used to divide the colors of the design. The design is etched by hand onto the pins. Each pin made in soft enamel is hand crafted with the colors and polish. Needles are used to put colored enamel in the pin. The pins are heated over 1600F to make sure that the color will not be removed and it will stay in the pin for a lifetime. Heating also attaches the color to the metal of the pin. Soft enamel pins are very stylish. It is thicker and heavier as compared with the other types. This kind of pin is the most recommended, however, the design is not as detailed as with other types. Soft enamel pins are also recommended to have an epoxy top coat. Adding epoxy will protect the pin’s surface and colors from detaching.
Photo etched trading pins–
This type of trading pin is computer generated. It is made by transferring an image of your design from a film to a surface of metal sheet. Using the acid etching process, the design is produced by using a liquid acid into the brass or copper. After the etching process, color is applied by hand. The metal sheet is heated for 15 minutes under 450F. The metal sheet is then cut according to the design of the pins. Photo etched pins offer more details and flexibility with the design as well as the color choices. This type of trading pin makes you more creative and imaginative thus giving more complex design. An epoxy top coating is also applied. It will serve as a dome that protects the color from being scratched and damaged. This type is also less expensive as compared to soft enamel and offset digital pins.
Offset digital trading pins-
offset digital printing is used for finer details and smooth surface,. It is recommended for designs that require fine lines, specific color of details and painted images or pictures. Shadow, fades and gradients in a logo or design are produced through this type of printing. To protect the printed image, a clear epoxy coating is applied in the surface. The major advantage of this type of trading pin is that it retains the original design carefully keeping the integrity and detail of your work.
Silkscreen printed trading pins–
Silkscreen printed pins are similar to offset digital pins as the design is also applied to the metal. However, silkscreen printing is the process used.
Die struck pins-
In this type of pin, a die is used to stamp a design into a copper sheet. The pins of this type have sharper images than the other types. After placing the die, it is cut out to individual pin. Bold colored enamels are places after cutting. This type of pin is Matt or textured finish. The pins may also undergo antiquing process to produce a unique stylish finish.