Disney Pin Trading: Tips and Tricks to Avoid Fake Pins at all Costs

   When I pin traded for the first time, I brought exactly 23 pins to trade. Only 3 of those pins ended up being authentic. And all of that came after three months of extensive research on the internet. But wait! Don't get discouraged!! Because I hadn't known one key thing that I am about to share with you! With this you will be able to look at some pins by a glance and automatically know if it's authentic or not.
   That tip is: all hidden Mickey pins are made with hard enamel. In fact, almost every Disney pin in existence is made with hard enamel, with the exclusion of Loungefly and Box Lunch pins. For those who don't know where I'm going with this, many fake pins are made with soft enamel. Soft enamel dips down and almost looks wet and glossy, while hard enamel is smooth all across. If you search online to see a side by side photo of both types of enamel, you will see a clear difference. So if you see any pin that is made with soft enamel (except Loungefly and Box Lunch which are super rare to find while trading) beware that it is a fake.
   Now sometimes it isn't that simple. But there still are other ways to tell by looking at just the front of the pin. For example, if the paint is super scratched up or of the colors are off are both indicators of fakes. Now also be certain that just because a pin is scratched up doesn't mean it is 100% a fake, it may just be in bad condition, however you don't see many pins like that at all. 
   Now if you still aren't sure, turn the pin to the back. The cast members will let you see the pin before you trade for it so use that as an opportunity to check out the pin to ensure its authenticity.
   If the pin was manufactured in 2010 and after, it will have a Mickey waffling pattern on the back. You will hear different things about the waffling but I can assure you what you read ahead is guaranteed true: Every hidden mickey pin set has the waffling go off the edge WITH AN ACCEPTION of the character ice cream pins from Disneyland and Disney World. Also, look at the shape of the Mickeys. If they are nice and defined, the pin is most likely real. If the Mickeys are like blobs, it is fake. Again, looking up photos or having a side by side comparison in real life helps a ton. Also take a look at the nubs, which are the little tiny pokey things (professional language, I know ;D) next to the main pin post on the back. It depends on the pin; sometimes there is one, sometimes 2, and on older pins there aren't any. If they are super small, almost none existent, that's an indicator of a fake. If they are prominent and a good size, the pin may be real. However, supersized nubs can also be an indicator of a fake.
   These are the most effective ways to tell fake pins apart from real ones. There is not just one way to tell, so use these many steps to authenticate pins. I hope you have a magical day!! :))

Written by figmentfan018 - Sunday 28 June 2020

This article was last updated on Thursday 04 March 2021.

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