Bar Pins, Pin Backs
In terms of style most pins will have some round holes in the bar this helps when your gluing them, particularly if your using a rather think glue like E-6000 that will ooze up just a bit through the holes. If you were soldering the pins the holes are also helpful in flowing solder into. You can also rivet or screw pinbacks on. If pin backs are riveted on I often see them using a pin back with a large square hole. If your soldering you can use also use a solid bar the solder will flow under it if heated correctly. Keep in mind if the pinback is plated, and most are, you can only use low temperature, soft solder. Using "hard solder" will require a solid nickel, brass or silver pin ( not plated) 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
name tag. These are generally sold under the moniker "easy lock" as they do not have the safety catch. They are easy but can open unexpectedly at times. Moving up to a pin with an actual clasp we can still find
extremely cheap base metal bar pins. These are made in China. They will be
plated and the price is right. Your going to get these if you buy at Walmart, Michael's or any of the huge chains… Yes they are inexpensive, 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 seem to often fail just as your potential customer is trying on that pin they are thinking of buying.
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. You might pay .25 for one of these as opposed to the cheapo which might be .05 So for the extra .20 this level is the one I would recommend on most fashion jewelry. The last group
of bar pins I put in the superior or best category. 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 on the larger size 1.5"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 much more
expensive then other pins. Expect no bad pins at all in this group.