What do the pin grades mean?

When I get my pins from my manufacturer I go through them individually. With enamel pins it is almost impossible to get the perfect pin as enamel can easily get some small scratches or marks. Enamel pins are handmade items that have natural variations, and can have slight flaws that occur during the production process.

All of my pins are considered standards before I inspect them.

Standards are perfect for any collector or anyone looking for a great quality pin!

That being said, standard grade pins may exhibit: stray glitter, low-fill enamel in small areas, small traces of random debris such as dust or fuzz, tiny bubbles in enamel/epoxy coating, light scuffing/scratches/dents, slight discoloration or imperfections in/on the metal plating on the sides and/or back of pin, etc. Whenever there is a more noticeable flaw, the pin will be listed as a seconds or C.

Second grade pins are still in great condition, so these are still great for any collector that are looking for a cheaper pin but still good quality. It could just be that there is a little noticeable defect to the pin, whether it be a small scratch, a mark or a tiny bit of missing colored enamel or any of the flaws listed above. These flaws can only be seen when really looking closely at the pin.

C pins are a lot cheaper, this is because they have larger flaws on the pin, this could be quite visible marks or scratches, pin posts problems or missing colored enamel and other flaws like listed above. 

All C pins are still completely wearable and are great as a pin to be used!