Lapel Pin Buying Guide

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Lapel Pin Buying Guide

Lapel pins are a subtle accessory that can make the difference between an uninteresting wardrobe and an outfit that says something. With six different materials, millions of colour combinations, and even custom made options, individuals are able to express themselves through a single pin. Lapel pins come in various sizes, but all lapel pins are designed to be easily worn on the collar or lapel of a shirt. Men, women, and children should all consider owning a few lapel pins for various occasions.

Whether it is to commemorate a specific occasion or to simply top off an outfit with a quality accessory, choosing to wear a lapel pin can be a pleasant fashion statement. With so many pin options, however, shopping for a single pin that meets every need can become quite a task. To find a specific pin, shoppers should consider using online marketplaces such as eBay. Search for a lapel pin that meets size needs, aesthetic tastes, and that is designed with quality materials.

Lapel Pin Materials

Millions of lapel pin colours and combinations are available for purchase, but lapel pin materials commonly boil down into about six categories. Quality lapel pin options include: cloisonne, epola, soft enamel, screen printed, die struck, and photo etched. Each material has its own drawbacks and benefits. When searching for a lapel pin, be sure to understand the different materials involved before ever committing to a purchase.

Cloisonne Lapel Pins

Individuals searching for a lapel pin that is designed to be a durable accessory that avoids corrosion and scratching, should consider cloisonne lapel pins as the premier option. These lapel pins are constructed with bronze or copper, or a combination of both. With images and settings created from a die press, the embossment of cloisonne lapel pins is significant and quite attractive. Such pins are somewhat more difficult to colour, so consumers shopping for a multi-coloured pin might be better suited with a different pin material.

Epola Lapel Pins

Epola lapel pins are another durable option for lapel seekers. These pins are made of hard enamel and are typically designed to be coupled with bright colour finishes. Epola pins offer a hard exterior much like cloisonne pins, but are also designed to be decorated with as many as 1,000 pantone colours. Since these pins are not embossed, those seeking a raised image should stick with cloisonne as their lapel options. With so many colours available for epola lapel pin construction, consumers in the market for a colourful pin are likely to lean towards epola options.

Soft Enamel Lapel Pins

Individuals shopping for a more inexpensive lapel option might find soft enamel lapel pins to be a quality purchase. These pins are designed with a similar aesthetic to epola pins, but offer more softened edges than other options. Soft enamel pins are best suited towards designs and images that have less detail. Since these pins are die cast like cloisonne pins, they make up for what they lack in detail with solid, reliable construction materials and processes. 

Screen Printed Lapel Pins

Screen printed lapel pins can be made from a variety of different metals, but the manufacturing process is usually quite consistent. Screen printed lapel pins are designed with silkscreened images that are transferred to the metal in question. Ink is pressed through a silken screen that then transfers the images to the material of the pin. Screen printed pins offer a high level of colour selection and optimisation. Screen printed pins do, however, commonly scratch and fade more easily than some other lapel pin options.

Die Struck Lapel Pins

Die struck lapel pins are usually the most expensive option due to the materials that comprise them. Die struck lapel pins are made of either copper, gold, or other high quality metal. Since this option utilises precious and semi-precious metals, costs of such pins can be somewhat pricy. These pins are usually not coloured, in order to display the quality material from which they are made. Consider die struck lapel pins as an option for gifting, or even as an achievement award.

Photo Etched Lapel Pins

Consumers interested in buying a lapel pin with a detailed, true to life image, should consider photo etched lapel pins. Photo etched lapel pins are usually made of fairly inexpensive metal, and are thus not as durable as some other options. These pins are designed with images etched onto metal through an acid relief method. Since individuals can use actual photos, these pins are in the top of their class in terms of detail and customisation.

Lapel Pin Size Options

After considering what material and construction is desired, individuals should consider different lapel pin size options. Those who want a subtle accessory for daily wear are likely to get more from a smaller lapel pin. Individuals who want to stand out from the crowd and proclaim an idea or represent an event, should search for a larger lapel pin option. When shopping for pins online, search for images that show size relation through a comparative photograph.

Lapel Pin Colour

When selecting a lapel pin, choosing the right colour combination and theme is absolutely essential. Although diecast lapel pins are almost always void of colour, other options rely on proper colour selection to stand out. When representing a company, event, or idea, individuals should take colours relating to those ideas and entities and transmute them onto their pins. Since screen printed lapel pins and photo etched lapel pins offer such detail, shoppers are able to find the exact lapel pin without too much difficulty. Be careful, however, not to pack too much colour and detail into a pin. A delicate balance is needed as a lapel that is over detailed, usually winds up looking muddled and indecipherable.

Custom Lapel Pins

With thousands of colour and design options, it is no wonder that so many choose to purchase a custom lapel pin. Photo etched pins offer an option for those who want to memorialise an event. Epola lapel pins offer thousands of colours to choose from, and screen printed pins are also highly customisable as well. Consider having custom lapel pins made for various occasions.

Business Lapel Pins

Many businesses give away lapel pins in order to advertise their businesses. Some companies provide high quality lapel pins such as die cast pins, as a reward for an achievement. These small pins are also able to convey an advertising message easily. Since lapel pins can be quite attractive, they are often used as incentives in various inner office challenges.

Commemorative Lapel Pins

Heavily themed events and holidays are perfect times to wear a lapel pin. Since formal suits do little to match the mood of an event, adding a simple lapel pin to the collar of a shirt can help individuals participate in the moment. Charitable causes, religious holidays, and national memorial events, are all moments where a lapel pin is a common accessory. Shoppers should look for a lapel pin that matches the colours of an event, the shape of a well known icon, or the exact image that underpins the cause.

Buying Lapel Pins on eBay

With more than six different lapel pin materials, searching for the perfect pin can be a burden for even the savviest shopper. Online marketplaces such as eBay, however, offer a simple way to browse through hundreds of options. To start a search for an item on eBay, simply visit the site's home page. From here, consumers must simply type in a keyword such as 'die cast lapel pin' into the searchbar. After clicking on the search button, shoppers are able to browse through hundreds of lapel pin options.

Lapel pins that are designed with specific intentions in mind are often difficult to come by. With eBay, however, consumers are able to use specific filters to find the product they want. In order to narrow down options, click on the 'advanced search' feature on eBay before entering in a search term. This feature allows individuals to submit a search query that is specific to their exact needs. Look for the item you want and select a seller that matches your needs.


Lapel pins come in all shapes, sizes, and colours. Understanding the different types of materials and processes that go into making lapel pins is a valuable piece of knowledge. Remember to shop for a pin that fits the needs of the individual event. Selecting a colour combination that works well together is often the  primary task in shopping for a lapel pin. Considering size options as well as limiting the weight of pin are also important shopping elements to keep in mind.

Even businesses can find a use for a quality lapel pin. Whether it is a die cast pin to commemorate an achievement of an employee, or an epola lapel pin to help advertise, almost any business sector can find a lapel pin to meet needs. When shopping for such pins, consumers and businesses should consider using eBay as the marketplace of choice. With millions of products, thousands of sellers, and advanced search features, individuals can find what they want in a short amount of time.

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