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Hard enamel pins are considered the Best Quality. When image is everything, and jewelry quality is important, choose hard enamel pins.
Hard enamel pins are the new cloisonné pins. Also called Epola, New Cloisonné, Clois-Tech, Cloisonné II and Semi-Cloisonné, these pins have been around for about two decades. Cloisonné can only use a handful of colors but hard enamel cloisonné pins can have over 1,000 Pantone colors used in the making of the pin. Hard enamel cloisonné pins are also cheaper to make and offer a faster turnaround time. For these reasons, most customer that need cloisonné pins choose hard enamel cloisonné.
Only an expert can tell the difference between cloisonné and hard enamel cloisonné lapel pins.
Many lapel pin companies do not distinguish between authentic cloisonné and hard enamel cloisonné pins. They call hard enamel cloisonné pins cloisonné when actually, they are not. One way to tell the difference is the colors offered. Authentic cloisonné only has about 120 colors to choose. If a pin company says they'll match to any of the Pantone (PMS) colors, it's not really an authentic cloisonné lapel pin.
Hard enamel pins have metal lines around the text and graphics. These lines hold the enamel. Sometimes, lines can be raised to create text or graphics. There are examples of this type of design on this page.
Not sure which pin is best for your project? We'll be glad to help you!
We can help you make the best decision but here are some details that might help you decide. Hard enamel pins are considered the best quality, are a little more expensive, and have a more jewelry look and feel. Hard enamel pins are also known as Epola, Cloisonné, or Imitation enamel. The term hard enamel can be deceiving but just refers to how the paint or enamel on the pin is treated. The enamel is hardened by heat and then polished smooth leaving the enamel and the metal borders flush. If you were to rub your thumb over the pin it would feel smooth unlike soft enamel which has dimension. Hard enamel pins come in all the same metal finishes: gold, silver, copper, black nickel, brass, bronze. Each of these finishes can also be antiqued.
Hard enamel pins cannot use dyed metal for the borders, this only works on soft enamel pins. An advantage of hard enamel is it is the most durable type of pin and is the highest quality. Another advantage is the option of silkscreen. Because the surface is hard and smooth, a process of silk screening can be used to get tiny details on the pin, or details without the metal borders around the color. Because heat is introduced into the process, colors can darken a little which makes it a little harder to match pantone colors exact.
They're great for corporations, higher end gifts, awards, years of service, and for organization that budget is not a big concern. Really any organization or company can use hard enamel pins. Still unsure, just ask, this helping people decide is what we do.