|Everyone is familiar with the
typical bar pin otherwise known as a pin back. However many people are
unaware of the bewildering amount of styles and quality levels that are
In terms of style we have pins that have holes in the
bar for easy gluing and embedding. Some that have a special square hole
these are for riveting and sometimes we get a solid bar that is
used when the item will be soldered. In addition there are bar pins with
bails attached so the jewellery can be used either as a pendent or a
pin. Some pin backs have prongs on them so they can be mounted
through fabrics and paper. The list goes on. Generally I would say the
two an three hole bar pins are going to be the most popular and versatile
as they can be used for gluing and some solder operations.
The actual quality of the pin is another issue that we
have gone round and round on with suppliers and customers a like.
Starting at the lowest level there are very inexpensive pins that
are made from just a bent piece of metal. Something like you see
on a paper nametag. Moving up to a pin with an actual clasp we can still
find extremely cheap base metal bar pins. These are made Asia. They will
be plated and the price is right… but there is going to be a large
percentage of bad ones. In the past we experienced 10%-40% defects on
these. The catches won’t work correctly and they are just plain cheap.
This is not a pin you want to put on a piece of hand crafted jewelry
your trying to get some good money for. The next level up I would
describe as good or medium quality. Generally these a brass. They are
going to be pretty reliable. There may still be the occasional bad pin
but overall it is a pretty good defect rate. This quality is often made
here in USA they have a gold or silver plate finish. This is a popular
choice and one I would recommend on most fashion jewelry. The last group
of bar pins I put in the superior or best category. Again made in USA.
These are constructed of solid nickel components. There is no plating
and as such are not available in a gold finish. They have smooth acting
clasps and strong thick pins. So thick in fact that some people will
complain that the pin may be so big that it creates a hole in the
fabric. Aside from that issue they are notably better and of course more
expensive then other pins. Expect no bad pins at all in this group.