This grading system is a useful key for new pin buyers and a helpful guideline for what you should expect when buying pins. The pin grade description below may be applicable to other enamel pins you buy!
Please, kindly remember and understand that these pins are handmade.
S Grade - Collector’s Grade
Generally, these are the rare editions where they are visibly flawless front and back. I hold these usually for my portfolios, models and displays. There are very few to sometimes none in a batch. You'll rarely ever find these on sale.
-Air Bubbles: No Bubbles
-Metal Face: No Scratches or Scuffs or Imperfections
-Enamel: No Discoloration
-Filling: No over/low-fills, missing color, or etched enamel filling
A Grade - Standard Grade
Most of my stock will consist of standard grades. These are essentially pins that come up just shy from collector grades due to a near imperceptible flaw. For your knowledge, I review standard grades to a point of strain. I recommend standard grade pins for collectors and pin wearers.
Virtually Perfect – Minimally flawed under thorough inspection
-Air Bubbles: Near unnoticeable to no micro-bubble(s)
-Metal Face: Very minimal to no scratch, scuff or imperfection
-Enamel: Very minimal to no discoloration
-Filling: Very minimal to no etched enamel filling, over/low-fills. No missing color
B Grade - Second’s Grade
While most of the stock are standards grades, some pins come out with some minor visible flaws that would generally pose no problem for wear-ability. I recommend seconds grade pins for pin wearers.
-Air Bubbles: Moderate to minor noticeable Bubble(s)
-Metal Face: Moderate to minor scratch(es), scuff(s) or imperfection(s)
-Enamel: Moderate to minor discoloration
-Filling: Moderate to minor etched, chipped enamel filling, over/low-fills and potential missing color
C Grade - Toy Grade
This is essentially what some others may call junk grade where significant amounts defects are noted. If you do not care much for these flaws and want this pin no matter what at a low cost, I recommend getting toy grade. I would hope to not find these in my stock if ever possible.
-Air Bubbles: Noticeable Bubble(s)
-Metal Face: Visible deep scratch(es), scuff(s) and or imperfection(s)
-Enamel: Major discoloration
-Filling: Majorly etched, chipped enamel filling, over/low-fills, or missing color