When talking about differences between soft enamel pin and hard enamel pin, the first different comes to my mind is their appearance, the way it looks. Since appearance is the most straight part, every one can see it and tell it.
The hard enamel pin is with a flat and even front surface. When put your figure on it, caress surface gently. You will slightly feel metal lines. While put figure on soft enamel, the uneven surface is very very obvious.
Someone may be confused that why there is a feeling that seems hard enamel surface is not 100% even?
To answer this question we should firstly introduce contact temperature to you: different material has different contact temperature, this is kind of physical characteristics. The contact temperature of metal is lower than hard enamel color. When figures go over metal lines, temperature goes down a little so you can feel slightly difference.
Almost all hard enamel pin’s metal color comes from electroplating. While for soft enamel it is dyed metal color in most of the cases. When you see a pin with shiny metal looking, mostly it is hard enamel pin.
Actually, electroplating can also be applied on soft enamel pin. Yes you heard it right, there can be plating for soft enamel. Some of my designers are surprised to know that gold plating can be added on his soft enamel pin. If someone tells you it is unable to add plating on soft enamel pin, just ignore it. He’d either be bad or be fool
On the other side, hard enamel pin metal can be dyed. As you know plating color is limited, there are around 10+ most usage plating color in pin sector. If requires special metal color, such as blood red, sky blue .etc, these colors can’t be created by plating*1. In these very special cases we will apply metal dyed color on hard enamel pin. Very unique and infrequent.