CLASSIC LIMITED PINS - What's In A Number?
What is the utlimate lapel pin to add to your pin collection? That is a very personal question with no incorrect answer. A fun component about pin collecting is that it allows people to collect pins that contain a theme that is important to them. Some people collect pins from places they've visited, stadiums they've attended, or special events such as Super Bowls and World Series. Some collectors go after championship pins from all sports. There are so many different angles to pin collecting and one is no better than the other as long as it is important to the collector. Yet, there is one manufacturing component of a collector pin that without a doubt makes a pin stand out from the rest...a number. A collector pin without an individual number is like a pet without a name. With a number the pin goes from a nice bottle of sangiovese for Wednesday night's spaghetti dinner to a bottle of Brunello headed for the your wine cellar! Give a pin a number and it becomes the Pièce De Résistance! It becomes a Classic Limited!
You don't come across too many individually numbered pins because manufacturers these days don't want to limited themselves to how many they can sell. But the limited manufacturing run plus the numbering is exactly what makes the pin more valuable to collectors. I remember my earlier years with other pin manufacturers. We would make a run of individually numbered limited edition pins and the pins numbered 1 thru 10 never left the building. They were required to be escorted with white gloves directly to the owners or CEO's desk and eventually to their pin "cellar." In my 20 years in the industry, I don't recall any other pins being treated in such high regard by their makers.
Today, manufacturers try to tell customers that a pin is limited but they don't number them which virtually allows the manufacturer to make as many as they want. One step above the generic limited edition claim is a stamp on the back of the pin or the plate of a pin set that reads for example, "Limited Edition 2015". The manufacturer is limited to the amount they are making, but they are saving manufacturing costs by creating only one pin back stamp that just says Limited Edition 2015 without giving each pin a number of it's own. When a pin is numbered 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. These are the pins that become Classic Limiteds. Unless a pin is numbered it surely doesn't make make it to my "cellar." Just like the bottle of sangiovese, it doesn't mean I wouldn't buy it, it just doesn't go to my wine cellar.
So, when you think of adding to your pin collection...always look for a Classic Limited.