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  • Writer's pictureClassic Pins

Exploring The Manufacturing & Value Of Limited Edition Pins

Updated: Apr 5

There are typically two key factors that go into the valuation of products for resale. Product condition and demand. So then, what turns an item from a decorative prop into the ultimate collectible piece that buyers want?

For the most part, demand for a particular pin is highly dependent on the buyer’s personal interest. A pin can finish a personal collection or set, it can be needed to replace a lost item, or it may be a necessary piece for an upcoming event. Some collectors may be interested in pins from places they've visited, stadiums they've attended, or championship sporting events such as Super Bowls and World Series. The interesting thing about any collector hobby is that gives individuals freedom to build a collection around the themes that are important to them.

There are so many different opportunities to grow a valuable collection that there is not one sure-fire answer as to which pins will yield the most profit. However, there is one category of collector’s items that will always be more valuable than its counterpart: the limited edition pin. Not only are these pins made with a different aesthetic or more durable material, but they feature a unique manufacturing component that gives it meaning.


The Limited Edition number

The limited edition number is usually on the back of any limited edition product and can also be featured on the plaque of a set or framed picture. This stand out feature says “I am one of a small number of products that will ever be created.” A collector pin without this is like a beloved pet without a name; it lacks a personal identifier and critical feature that gives it belonging to an elite line of items.

Limited Edition Pin Number
Limited Edition Pin Number

Why are limited edition pins less common?

We don’t come across many individually numbered pins because not only is it more expensive to produce these featured items, but manufacturers want to avoid limiting how many of an item they can sell. This is especially true for mainstream products such as logo pins, lanyards, and the like. Additionally, if every pin was featured as part of a set, the value of that stand out feature would be diminished.

This limited manufacturing run, denoted by a pin’s unique numerical identifier, is exactly what will exponentially increase its worth.

Classic Pins Marketing Director, John Varella, recounts that they would make a run of individually numbered limited edition pins and numbers 1 thru 10 never left the building. "These pins were required to be escorted with white gloves directly to the owner's and CEO's desk, which would then make it to their pin cellar. In my 20 years in the industry, there were no other pins being treated in such high regard.”

Can limited edition pins not be numbered?

Yes. With there being a few different pins labeled as “limited edition”, we find it important to look out for a few reasons why this may be the case.

Something to look out for is when manufacturers tell customers that a pin is limited but don't number them. Sure, a particular design could have been manufactured in a batch quantity of 100 pins, but there is virtually nothing stopping a company from remaking more.

Another feature that limited edition pins may feature that gives it less value than a numbered pin is having a stamp. Occasionally, manufacturers will make a limited edition design and include something like, “Limited Edition of 100” without denoting what the pin’s number of the set it is. Sure, the pin is in fact a limited edition, but it does not have a personal identifier that gives is value and individuality. Manufacturers tend to do this in order to reduce production costs by creating only one stamp, identical on each pin of the limited set, as opposed to paying more to individually label each pin. On numbered, limited edition pins, as soon as a pin is created, it has a unique back stamp that no other pin in the world has. These pins are stamped in order of which they are made and released.

You can find a wide selection of Limited Edition pins on our store here!

So before you rip that $10 pin out of the bag or accidentally run it through the dryer, flip it over and take a peek. Your item could be a limited edition and be worth more than you would expect to the proper buyer. And don’t forget to check your current standing pin collections. Who knows? You could have that special piece that someone didn’t even know they needed.

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