Soft Enamel vs. Hard Enamel Pins: What's the Main Difference?

If you’re new to collecting enamel pins, you’ve probably heard people talk about soft enamel pins and hard enamel pins. So what’s that all about and is one necessarily better than the other?


The Gray Muse Creative Shop Enamel Pins for Creatives Soft Enamel Vs Hard Enamel Pins

First of all, welcome to pin collecting! It’s a really fun (and addictive) hobby. I started collecting in November 2018 and haven’t looked back since. Each pin you collect tells a little about your personality, what you stand for, and what’s important to you. Who wouldn’t want that? 

Before I started designing and selling my own pins for The Gray Muse, I could care less about a design being in soft enamel vs. hard enamel. It was the actual design that held more meaning.

The main difference between the two types of enamel is their finish. The simplest way to understand is by touching them. Hard enamel pins are smooth. Soft enamel pins are textured.

Soft enamel are more common for the following reasons:

  1. more affordable to produce
  2. can accommodate intricate designs and, therefore, are more versatile
  3. some people enjoy the texture of the finish


Hard enamel pins are more expensive to produce because they have an extra step in production, where they are baked at a high temperature and then polished. They are more durable and have a smooth look that people find to be “classy.” They will last longer as well.

That being said, it’s a matter of personal preference and how you intend to use your pin collection. I collect both because I care more about the design than the finish. If I see a design that speaks to me, I will purchase it regardless of finish.

My next post will be about care and use of enamel pins. Leave any questions or suggestions below for blog post ideas. I'm excited to share my knowledge as a pin designer and small business owner. 

Your support means everything to me!

Rubeena, Founder, The Gray Muse

July 10, 2019 — Rubeena Ianigro

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