The History of Trading Pins

The History of Trading Pins

Lapel pins are so much more than a style accessory. They can be used as a brilliant marketing tool, an eye-catching way to promote your brand, and even as a...

Lapel pins are so much more than a style accessory. They can be used as a brilliant marketing tool, an eye-catching way to promote your brand, and even as a way to show loyalty. However, pins also have a unique history when it comes to trading. Trading pins have grown in popularity over the years, and it's easy to see why. Pins come in all shapes and sizes, some are rarer than others, and some are just unique enough to add to a collection. 

One place where trading pins have become a tradition is the Olympics. With teams and athletes coming together from all around the world, trading pins have become a time-honored tradition for athletes, officials, and spectators. Folks participate in exchanging and collecting pins that celebrate their journey. The practice of trading pins has also become popular outside of the Olympics, especially in youth sports. 

The origins of the Olympic trading pins date back to the first modern Olympic Games held in 1896. The event took place in Athens, where athletes used cardboard discs as badges in different colors. In 1904, these pins became more ornate, while trading these pins began at the Olympic village in 1924 in Paris. Athletes and officials traded pins as a symbol of international friendship. Each nation had its own pin, and exchanging pins with other countries was a sign of goodwill. Spectators and fans took notice, and Olympic organizers started creating a limited number of pins to remain exclusive. 

Pin trading for spectators really grew in 1972, thanks to the abundance of pin variations. Soon after the Summer Olympics in Munich, trading pins became one of the top “spectator sports” in the Olympics. Fans even organized trading events, which expanded the tradition. In 1988 at the Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, Coca-Cola organized the company’s first official pin trading center. While corporate sponsors had their own pins since the 1960 games, this was the first time a company organized a pin trading event. Coca-Cola remained dedicated to the tradition, keeping the tradition of pin trading alive and well. 

Youth league baseball has been mostly responsible for the popularity of pin trading. Baseball pins have been a part of the game since the 1920s. In 1983 Little League Baseball® released its first official baseball trading pins. The tradition's popularity grew even bigger, extending far beyond sports and even into academic competitions. Events like Odyssey of the Mind and Destination Imagination Pin trading features teams with their own pins, with each pin being incredibly creative and thoughtful. 

Folks enjoy trading pins because of the number of pins available. People are drawn to the elusiveness of some pins. Many pins are not for sale, adding to their allure and appeal. You have to trade one of your own to get another you desire. Trading pins is also a great way to meet new people. 

When folks share the same interests, they tend to become closer. Many manufacturers can turn your team’s design into a trading pin. Get creative, think about adding unique elements like moving pieces, blinkers, glitter, crystals, and more. 

Creating a custom pin is fun and easy. Here at the LapelPinSuperstore, we have the experience and an incredible team of designers who will help create the perfect trading pins. 

We create pins with quality materials, vibrant colors, and do so at a price that won't break the bank. Get a free quote on your order or give us an email with any questions you may have. Let the LapelPinSuperstore create your next round of trading pins! 

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