Pin Back Descriptions

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Several of my pin descriptions have a number followed by two letters at the end of the description.  For example:

Boston Guitar - Strat White with Lobster, HRC Back $9.50
Boston Guitar - Strat White with Lobster, Grid 2LC $12.50
Boston Guitar - Strat White with Lobster, Grid 4LT $19

People always ask me what the last part of the description means and why pins that appear to all be the same have different prices, such as the example above.

The end part of the description (i.e. Grid 4LT) refers to the type of pattern that is on the back of the pin, how many lines of text it has on the back and where the pin was made.

In the case of: Grid 4LT, this means the pin has a Grid back, 4 lines of text and was made in Taiwan.  Grid 2LC, means the pin has a Grid back, 2 lines of text and was made in China.  HRC Back, means the pin has the HRC logo all over the back.

The pins that are made in Taiwan are older than the pins that were made in China and are the first production run of the pin or pretty darn close to it.  The very first HRC pins had what is referred to as an eyeball back.  A back that had little tiny eyeballs all over it.  The next back variation was the Mesh back, interlocking lines that formed an actual wire mesh look, around the same time, there were also sand, pebble or shiny backs depending on the HRC that produced them.  There is also the weave back, the Grid (large and small) back, the HRC back, and the newer backs that have little guitars all over them.

In the Boston Lobster guitar example above, the Grid, 4LT back was the first run of the pin which is why it costs more than the other two (the prices used above are hypothetical and do not reflect actual value).  From the front all 3 pins look the same, they only vary in the type of back they have.  Some collectors do not care about the back variation, others try to collect them all, and still others strive for the earliest version they can.

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