Cute, Cuter, the Cutest: Badges

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Most people associate badges with young people and pop groups, birthdays, or fan clubs - for everything from Disney characters to automobile associations - but a badge's design and origin can have a deeply personal meaning or even make them a target for serious collectors. So why not dive into a world of diversity, with our guide to a dozen inspirational and in-demand badges?
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12. Loveheart Romance

Childhood memories play a big part in any badge's appeal and no celebration would be complete without these Lovehearts. Generations of kids have grown up eating these sweet treats bearing love proclaiming messages such as 'Kiss Me' and 'Sugar Lips'.

Lovehearts badges are a tribute to the enduring popularity of the sweet's simple design and its use by romantics everywhere. 

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11. Wonderful Wildlife

Wildlife badges are not just for nature lovers. Some of the prettiest and most colourful designs feature animals from around the globe.  Charities such as the RSPB specialise in lapel pins of British wildlife like the Pine Marten, Kingfisher and Swallowtail Butterfly. 
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10. Eighties Themed

As decades go, the 1980s was vibrant, go-getting and day-glow colourful. Retro button badges are always in demand and this fun set features some of the most memorable motifs from the era: Smileys were taken up by the newly-formed acid house culture, Frankie Goes to Hollywood were a global pop phenomenon and the Rubik's cube was everybody's favourite puzzle. Go new-wave badge, go 80s.

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9. Mad Hatter

Not all badges are based on popular or throw-away culture. Some have a high-brow, intelligent or literary theme, like this Mad Hatter badge.

Lewis Carroll's tale Alice in Wonderland has kept children and adults entertained since the nineteenth century and has regular revivals in TV and on film. Carroll's Mad Hatter threw a wild tea party and this badge has real geek-chic appeal for fans of Alice, tea enthusiasts and book lovers everywhere.

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8. Pop Autobahn

Pop and rock group badges are regular buys for music fans and one of the most popular electronic groups around are responsible for this minimally designed badge, showing the road sign for a German motorway (Autobahn).

Kraftwerk, a four-piece from Dusseldorf, are often hailed as the originators of electronic pop and dance music. Autobahn was their tribute to motorway driving and avid fans snap up the group's badges and themed memorabilia.  

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7. Ace of Spades

Playing cards are popular with poker players for obvious reasons, especially if they were part of a winning hand, but the Ace of Spades is one everybody remembers.

It was part of the notorious 'dead man's hand' of Wild Bill Hickock and inspired a song by rock band Motorhead. Rock and roller, risk-taker or cute badge lover, this pin badge could be a charm.

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6. Busby Babes

Football and sporting badges are standard fare for sports fans, but special editions and vintage badges carry a bit more value.

Something like this tribute to one of Manchester United's Busby Babes, not only celebrates an outstanding team player but are sought after by collectors, as they are designed like Sherriff’s badges, giving them universal appeal.

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5. Aston Martin

Classic cars are another highly valued badge collectable. Great British marques like Aston Martin are known the world over and this winged badge has simple elegance. Badges from car bonnets are another item that collectors look for, just don't try pinning one to a lapel.

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4. U2 Boy

Rock bands rarely carry more renown than the Irish band U2 (whether you love or hate them). In their rise to eminence they produced the classic 'Boy' LP at the beginning of the 1980s with its stunning cover shot of Peter Rowen. Rock memorabilia, in the form of this attractive enamel badge, rarely looks this good.

Image via disneyparks.disney.go.com
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3. Mickey and Minnie

Disney merchandise is always in demand. Early years characters and animations are even more collectable. Badges featuring his original creation Mickey Mouse are universally recognised and vintage designs from the 20s and 30s are more sought after. 

Disney theme park badges are also a popular collectors item. Many people visit Disneyworld in Florida or Disneyland Paris and then start to collect badges at the park that are pinned on a lanyard and then continue collection when they return home, either buying badges online or swapping with people. Badges from momentous Disney occasions - such as park anniversaries - are more sought after by collectors. 

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2. Remembrance Poppy

Commemorative badges help us to remember great world events and every November we buy poppy pins for Remembrance Day. So why not splash out on an exquisite enamelled poppy badge? Beautifully decorated and a badge that means a lot to so many.

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1. Gold Standard

Military badges, cap badges and other pins, medals and patches always have historical interest, but their intricate designs and colours make them wearable with fashionable clothes too. Collectables like this gold Order of St Stanislaus second class cross cost a little more (only around the £1,000/£2,000 mark) so treat them as an investment.

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