Why Are Enamel Pins So Expensive?

Why Are Enamel Pins So Expensive?

Enamel pins are a thing of the past, but the age of social media has breathed life into the hobby and made it one of the fastest-growing trends in the 21st century. Enamel pins refer to decorated or designed pins that are filled with enamel. Nowadays, you can find an enamel pin in the shape or form of everything and anything, and even celebrities have started to embrace this trend wholeheartedly.

If you have recently found out about enamel pins and want to start incorporating them into your attire, you might be wondering, ‘why are enamel pins so expensive?’, then we just have the answer for you. Unless you are making enamel pins to sell , or are an enamel pin collector, you will most likely find them to be expensive.


Expensive Equipment

Although enamel pins are very small, the mechanism required to produce them is actually quite large. Moreover, the equipment used in the production process can be quite expensive. There are a lot of machines involved, which can cost thousands of dollars. This is why even if you are hyped about making custom enamel pins, you won’t be able to do much except design it on your own, because you surely won’t consider spending that much money on a hobby.

Another factor that makes the price of enamel pins go up is that they have to be made using a special mold, which is made using special CNC technology on industrial steel. The design is engraved in an inverted direction onto the steel. Next, the mold is also stamped into a strip of metal, and the excess metal is removed with the help of a die. Then, the mold is transferred to a stamping press, where it is finally stamped into the metal from which the enamel pins will be actually constructed.

Detailed Process

Detailed Process enamel pins image

As you can see in the previous section, enamel pins go through an extensive and detailed process before they reach their final appearance, and this process also takes a lot of time, with a large amount of dies, enamels, epoxy coating, and many other substances and materials used in it. Naturally, when something requires so much manpower and time, you can bet it would be expensive to some extent. Combining this factor with the others, you will have a good idea of why enamel pins have such a high asking price.

enamel pins process image step by step

Lack of Local Manufacturers

According to this guide on choosing the best enamel pin manufacturers and how to work with them, you would find that there are little or no enamel pin factories in North America or the U.K., which means that most of your favorite enamel pins are actually imported from Asian or Middle Eastern manufacturers. This means that you will either have to get in touch with a business that sells enamel pins overseas, or you will have to rely on stores that sell them in your area.

lack of local factory image

In both scenarios, you will have to pay a much elevated price, because of the import costs and the profit margin that the businesses keep. Plus, most factories in the aforementioned markets don’t have customer service representatives or helpline that you can get in touch with. Even if you get in touch with them, there would be a language barrier that would hinder your communication with them.

Moreover, enamel pin manufacturers usually take orders in batches of hundreds, and their minimum order limit is hundred, so you won’t be able to order anything less than the required limit. Also, the less number of units you require, the more the price will be.

Expensive Materials

expensive material  image

Another reason why enamel pins are so expensive is that they are made from expensive materials. Typically, enamel pins are divided into two types: hard and soft enamel pins. If you break down the materials further, you would find that the most common materials involved in manufacturing enamel pins are iron, zinc alloy, copper, stainless steel, and aluminum.

Iron and zinc alloys are most frequently used for constructing both soft and hard enamel pins, mainly because they are durable and can be stamped or molded easily. Plus, they are most effective when it comes to electroplating and adding enamel, and they are also known to last longer than most other materials.

On the other hand, aluminum and stainless steel is used for offset printed pins, and copper enamel pins are only manufactured by companies upon special request. Hence, their cost will be even higher than what you would pay for the ones made from zinc alloy or iron.

Propagation to a Popular Trend

Propagation to a Popular Trend image

As mentioned above, enamel pins aren’t anything new; rather, they have just come into fashion a few years ago. If you read about enamel pin history, you would find that the Chinese actually perfected the technique of making enamel pins between 1271 and 1360 AD, and later on enamel pins were worn by soldiers in the Civil War with their unit numbers enameled on them. This helped troops rally up according to their units much quicker, and enabled them to stay organized and be identifiable from a distance.

In 2014, a few independent designers and artists started playing around with the idea, which led to them creating custom enamel pins that became viral over the internet. Thanks to social media, the trend caught on and more and more people started jumping the bandwagon, making their unique and custom enamel pins for certain causes, in support of people or communities, or just for fashion.

The trend reached its pinnacle when celebrities also started making enamel pins a part of their attire and started flaunting them in public appearances. You already know that when celebrities adopt something, millions of people instantly rush to follow it. As a result, an enamel pin that might cost $10 would be sold for $400, just because a celebrity wore it.

Get Wonderful Enamel Pins from My Enamel Pins

Enamel pins are becoming popular day by day, and you can find them in all types of designs. If you are also looking to jump the bandwagon and join the trend, check out My Enamel Pins. We have the best collection of attractive and top-quality enamel pins, and we can also help you turn your custom design into a beautiful enamel pin.

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