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metal lapel pins

Different Types of Lapel Pins

When it comes to creating custom lapel pins, the type of pin you choose will have a large impact on the overall look and feel of the custom pin. Continue on to learn more about the different types of lapel pins.

Watch our video to learn more about different lapel pin types.



A common choice for lapel pins is soft enamel. For these pins, our manufacturing process uses raised and recessed metal to separate the enamel paint that makes up the design. This results in a high-quality custom lapel pin with a natural look and a textured surface.

Hard Enamel pins are similar in their use of enamel paint, but an additional process is used in which the enamel is polished to be flush with the metal for a smooth, jewelry-like finish.

If you’re looking for a more classic or traditional appearance, die struck is another great option. Instead of using enamel paint, die struck utilizes the raised and recessed areas of metal to display your design. For die struck pins, plating choice will have a large impact on the overall look of the design.  


Due to their versatility and lower cost, Offset printed pins are another popular choice. there are no thin metal lines separating the colors. This means your design can have complex details and gradual color changes, to display an exact match for your existing design materials.

If you need pins on a tight deadline, ask us about quick pins. You can choose from a variety of in-stock shapes and sizes to display your design on a printed pin. In most cases, If you order by 10:30am eastern time, you can have them delivered the same week, with free tracking and shipping anywhere in the United States.

If you want to know more about lapel pins and lapel pin types, or our other custom metal products, check out our youtube channel or visit our website for more information regarding lapel pins and metal promotional products. Interested in getting your own custom lapel pin? Complete our no obligation form to get started on your next lapel pin project.

Lapel Pin Etiquette: A Guide for Cleaning Your Lapel Pins

Lapel Pin Etiquette: A Guide for Cleaning Your Lapel Pins

Although lapel pins have a history that stretches back to the Civil War, they’ve made a huge comeback. Cute, quirky, and unique designs became a huge trend in the fashion scene around 2014 and have since become must-have accessories.

No matter if it’s a pin with professional significance, the perfect accessory for your carefully cultivated look, or just a way to add class to your outfit, you know lapel pins have many benefits.

What happens if you love your pins a little too much and they need some TLC? Read this guide to lapel pin etiquette and learn how to clean them so they’re looking like new again!

What Kinds of Pins are You Working With?

There’s more than one kind of lapel pin. Knowing what kind you’re dealing with will determine the best way to clean them.

Most people are familiar with the classic clutch back or safety pin badge. There are many other stylish kinds of lapel pins that have their own unique qualities.

Which ones do you have?

Clutch Back

Also known as a butterfly clutch, these are usually small and efficient. The pin back has a point that fits into the clutch.

The clutch releases when you give it a squeeze. No complicated parts to mess with.

Stick Pin

The stick pin is a truly classic design. The pin sits on top of a long needle that pierces your lapel.

Pop the metal keeper (or a piece of cork if you’ve lost the keeper) on the end and you’re good to go. This is a fantastic way to bring a bit of vintage style to your outfit.

Screw Back

Just as the name suggests, you screw a nut onto the point on the pin back. This is one of the most secure types of pins out there.

Floral and Boutonnieres

One of the oldest styles, floral and boutonniere pins have sat on many a gentleman’s suit lapel over the years. While both involve flowers, floral is typically made of fabric while boutonnieres feature the real thing pinned on the lapel.

Out of all of them, the boutonniere is the most low-maintenance. No need to polish and shine a real flower — just pop on a fresh one and go!

Long Stem

If you’re looking to make a statement, you need to add a long stem pin to your wardrobe. This modern twist on the classic stick pin is meant to be noticed.

Long stem pins come in a wide variety of designs. Oftentimes, they’re made out of high-end metals like gold and silver, so you’ll need to be extra careful when cleaning them.

Magnetic

Worried about piercing a favorite outfit? The magnetic clasp pin is for you.

These are perfect for keeping the integrity of a delicate cashmere sweater or fancy dress. The only problem is that eventually, the magnets wear out and your pin might fall off.

Collar Pin

This is a unique pin. Most of the other pins that we’ve talked about go directly on a lapel or are worn like a brooch.

The collar pin clips to a typical button up collar. This is a sophisticated style for a man and a daring fashion addition for a woman.

What You Need to Clean Your Pins

There’s a basic cleaning kit that any lapel pin enthusiast needs. The two things you need are a polishing cloth and a polishing agent.

Before you run to the store, know that not all polishing cloths and agents are made equal.

When working with tarnish on silver pins, use a soft cotton cloth and silver polish. You might even be able to find special cloths that already have the silver polish in them.

Jeweler’s cloths work well for polishing pins. Jewelry polish is great to start with but if you want to splurge, go for the jewelry polish cream.

No matter what you use, look for something non-abrasive and gentle.

Cleaning Your Pins

Before you start, remove the back or keeper from your pin. Be careful not to stick yourself.

It’s always a good idea to test the polish you intend to use in an inconspicuous area. Swipe the back of the pin with a cotton bud before you use it on the rest of the pin.

The most basic way to clean the pin is to dab it with your polish and gently rub it with a cloth. Usually, your tarnish will easily come off.

Some metals tarnish faster than others. Copper tarnishes before silver which tarnishes before gold.

Make sure you use a good quality polishing cloth and cream on pins made out of these metals.

Extra Tips and Tricks

Now that you’ve got the basics down, here are a few other tips and tricks to keep in mind.

  • Never use vinegar or anything citrus to clean your pins. It will damage the metal and any enamel.
  • Don’t use polish on a soft enamel pin; rub it gently with a soft cloth so that the paint doesn’t come off
  • Don’t use harsh abrasives on a hard enamel pin; you risk damaging the design
  • No polish? You can try using toothpaste, but test it on the back of the pin to make sure it won’t hurt the pin
  • Never put your pins in a polishing machine; it’ll be too hard on your delicate pins
  • Household cleaners will also hurt pins; stick to jewelry polishes

The key is to be gentle with your pins. This is the best way to extend the life of your collection.

Practice Proper Lapel Pin Etiquette

It’s not hard to practice proper lapel pin etiquette. It’s important to remember that you should always test the back and be careful when polishing your pins.

If it’s been a while since your pins have had a good shine, take them out this weekend and polish them up. Nipping tarnish in the bud before it gets too dark prevents you from scrubbing too hard or using stronger polishes that can damage the metal.

If you love lapel pins, why not make a custom one for your special event or celebration? Reach out to us today for a free quote!