Soft enamel and hard enamel color are both synthetic paint fills used in die struck lapel pins, coins, medallions, keychains and more. Both paints are applied by hand to the recessed areas left by the imprint of the die.
Soft enamel color is filled and then left to air dry. This drying process allows the paint to settle slightly so that the metal ridges are left at a slightly higher level than the paint. If you run your finger across a lapel pin or coin with soft enamel color, you will be able to feel the texture left by this effect. The product is left with a dimensional appearance.
Hard enamel color is overfilled and then cured by heating the product to very high temperatures. Once hardened, the product is hand polished and sanded down so that the paint fill and the raised metal areas of the pin are at the same level. If you run your finger across a lapel pin or coin with hard enamel color, it will feel smooth.