Glossary
Glossary

Glossary of Popular Terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

    -A-
  • Add-On Charge -

    ​Is the additional cost one incurs when adding something outside the norm to your order; i.e., adding a full color seal on a Rhodium badge would incur an add-on charge of $5.00, because the "standard" seal is plain for a Rhodium badge.

  • Applied Seal -

    Generally a circular center design created from metal that can be applied to a badge. The seal helps personalize the badge whether it be a state seal, fire, law enforcement, EMT, or custom etc.

  • Attachment -

    ​The attachment is found on the back of a badge or other piece of insignia.  Our most popular badge attachments are;  A wallet clip for use with a wallet, safety catch which is used primarily for placing badges on your shirt or jacket, or screw back are used primarily to adhere a badge to a hat.  To see a complete listing of badge attachments click here.


    The most popular insignia attachment is clutch back (nails with butterfly clutch).​


  • -B-
  • Block Font -

    A sans-serif typeface, like an Arial Round Font.  This is our standard font for one piece badges.​

  • Braxmar -

    A New York badge company purchased by Blackinton® - many of the styles are still supported and sold by Blackinton®.  If the badge is originally Braxmar the style prefix would have an "X"; i.e., BX1111.​

  • Brushed Metal -

    The metal has a slightly textured imperfect appearance.​




  • -C-
  • Cab Slide Holder -

    Cab slide holder - means Commendation Award Bar slide holder, which is a revolutionary way to display commendation bars on your uniform. 



    The holders are available in three different sizes holding 1, 2, or 3 bars to fit 3/8" and 5/16" size commendation bars.  Each slide holder has only two clutch back attachments, resulting in less holes in your uniform.  The slide holders can be stacked and permanently soldered to form single units to hold from 4 to 15 bars.​

    For additional information click here.

  • Cabachon -

    Footing that is applied to Lucite, either plastic or felt is used.​

  • Casting -

    A manufacturing process in which a liquid metal is poured into a mold which contains a hollow cavity of a desired shape.  We do not manufacture Blackinton® badges in this manner.  The process produces an inferior product as compared to using a steel die.  A badge that is created via casting has poor detail quality and is less durable than a badge created by a die. ​

  • Catalog Badge -

    A catalog badge is one of our hundreds of standard badges that can be personalized with engraving and/or panels of your choice.​

  • Challenge Coin -

    Other names for a challenge coin are Military coin, unit coin, commander's coin, commemorative coin, and memorial coin.  The coins serve to identify the holder as a member of a particular group, or unit, and are tangible symbols of their pride and respect for the organization. 

    As tradition holds, members are "challenged" to produce their coin, and if successful a free drink is coming their way courtesy of the challenger.  If a coin cannot be produced, a drink is coming to the challenger courtesy of the person challenged.​

  • Chevron -

    ​Is an inverted "V" shape.  Law enforcement and military communities use the various Chevron's to signify an individuals rank. 

  • Cloisonné -

    A style of enameling in which the enamel is applied/flowed and fired, in an oven, amongst raised walls of metal.  This is the same process used when a Blackinton® product calls for hard enamel.​

  • Clutch Back -

    An attachment used primarily on insignia pieces to adhere to uniforms.  It is one or more nails applied to the back side of a piece of insignia and adhered to a shirt with a butterfly clutch backs.​  Click here to see all of our attachments.

  • Combar -

    The word is short for Commendation Bars which are also known as citation bars, they are available in gold or silver in a multitude of bar sizes and enamel colors.  They are given as a special award or citation to individuals in the public safety profession for wear on their dress uniforms. ​ To learn more about the Blackinton commendation bar offering click here.

  • Combar Slide Holder -

    Combar slide holder - means Commendation Award Bar slide holder, which is a revolutionary way to display bars on ones uniform.  The holders are available in three different sizes holding 1, 2, or 3 bars to fit 3/8" and 5/16" size commendation bars.  Each slide holder has only two clutch back attachments, resulting in less holes in your uniform.  To learn more about our slide holders click here.

    The slide holders can be stacked and permanently soldered to form single units to hold from 4 to 15 bars.SlideCombar.png

  • Commendation Bar -

    Also known as citation bars, they are available in gold or silver in a multitude of bar sizes and enamel colors..  They are given as a special award or citation to individuals in the public safety profession for wear on their dress uniforms. ​ To learn more about the Blackinton Commendation Bar offering click here.

  • Commendation Bar Slide Holder -

    Commendation Bar slide holder - means Commendation Award Bar slide holder, which is a revolutionary way to display bars on ones uniform.  The holders are available in three different sizes holding 1, 2, or 3 bars to fit 3/8" and 5/16" size commendation bars.  Each slide holder has only two clutch back attachments, resulting in less holes in your uniform.  The slide holders can be stacked and permanently soldered to form single units to hold from 4 to 15 bars.​  To learn more about our offering click here.

  • Custom Badge -

    A unique new badge design, that will require die and tools be created.​  To learn more about our custom badge offering click here.


  • -D-
  • Dap -

    Is the curvature that is added to the badge.  ​

  • Dealer Locator -

    A web-based application accessible via our website that allows individuals to find a dealer in their area by inputting their zip code and/or state. ​

  • Design Punch -

    Designs that can be stamped into badge panels in place of text.​



  • Design-a-Badge -

    Blackinton's online badge builder that allows customers to design their badge online and see it render before their eyes.  You can see what your badge will look like prior to ordering it... all from the convenience of your desktop.​

  • Die -

    A steel block with a reverse relief of your badge, seal, panel, or custom insignia item; which is then used to stamp the product out of metal.​

  • Die Struck Combination -

    There are specific initials, words, and numbers; i.e., FD, Sergeant, etc… that Blackinton® has created from Die's as one piece insignia units.​

  • Drape Ribbon -

    This is our standard ribbon style that accompanies most medals Drape-Ribbon.pngunless stated otherwise.  The ribbon comes in a variety of colors and is draped to hold the medal and has a safety catch that adheres to the uniform. 

    (Drape ribbon is not standard for Medal Style #'s: A4117,A4118 & A4119 standard would be neck ribbon)​



  • Dura Enamel -

    This is an old term used by Blackinton.  When Dura enamel is ordered it is interpreted as Hard Enamel, but there are some badges that can not use Hard Enamel - so the type of enamel used on that particular badge is determined by manufacturing.  ​


  • -E-
  • Electroplate -

    To plate with a metal (i.e., Gold Plate) by electrolysis, which is the passage of an electric current through an electrolyte with subsequent migration of ions to the electrodes.​

  • Embossed -

    Raised design.  When embossed is used in reference to insignia it generally refers to a non-smooth metal.

    Embossed.png

  • Enamel -

    Color that is used to enhance the appearance of a badge or seal.​  To view Blackinton's standard enamel colors click here.

  • Engrave -

    To carve, cut, or etch into a material.​

  • Engraved Commendation Bar -

    One of our 100's of commendation bars that has regular enamel flowed into its sections, and then after it is set either characters or symbols are engraved out of the enamel and than a clear epoxy is placed over the bar. Engraved bars are great when looking for a small amount of custom bars.​

    To learn more about our engraved commendation bar offering click here.


  • -F-
  • Finish -

    Refers to the surface coating on a badge or piece of insignia.​  To view the finishes offered by Blackinton click here.

  • FlexBadge -

    ​FlexBadge is a lightweight three-dimensional, flexible metallic looking fire or police badge emblem that is a secure permanent alternative to police patches and direct embroidery.  It looks spectacular, almost like the real thing, and surpasses the detail and quality of direct embroidery.  FlexBadge adheres permanently or can Velcro to polos, hats, outerwear, bags, and much more. Click Here​ to learn more.

     

  • Fraternal Regalia -

    Ceremonial emblems of Royalty, high office, or an order.  Blackinton® manufacturers thousands of pieces of Fraternal Regalia worn by the likes of the Masons or Elks to name a few.​  To see our line of Regalia click here.

  • Full Color Seal -

    A seal with two or more enamel colors. A full color seal is free with high end badges; i.e., HiGlo®, RhoGlo®, Two Tone, and VHBKK​


  • -G-
  • Gift Line -

    The Blackinton® gift line is made up of a variety of stock items including jewelry, coins, money clips, key chains etc… ​ To view our accessories and gift line click here.

  • Gold Plate -

    Deposit of 22K+ fine gold electroplate on base material for a rich bright appearance.  Carries a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.​   To see all the finishes offered by Blackinton click here.

  • Gunmetal -

    Gunmetal is translucent black finish that has a faint blue tint.  Gunmetal is not subdued, it has a slightly shinny appearance.  The gunmetal finish can be used with most Blackinton badge styles.


  • -H-
  • Hand Assembled Combination -

    Cut out numbers or letters that are hand assembled and soldered together in any combination of words, characters, or numbers you desire.​

  • Hard Fired Enamel -

    The areas that are colored are overfilled with enamel, and then the badges are “baked” to harden - to a nearly ceramic hardness. They are then ground/polished flat, and then plated with the metal. To the touch, letters are flush with the metal/surface and smooth.  Hard fired enamel is standard with our high end badges (HiGlo®, RhoGlo®, Two Tone, VHB KK).​The consistent, striking beauty of hard-fired enamel is created by hand using a painstaking procedure.  Natural colors found in mineral substances are ground into a fine powder, moistened to proper consistency, then delicately placed by hand into each individual letter.  After being fired in 1,400° ovens, the enamel is stoned flush with the surrounding metal areas.  There are 17 additional steps in the hard enamel process as compared to the other color techniques.  Because of these additional steps, and the curing involved, a hard enamel badge takes 5 business days longer to manufacturer.  Hard-fired enamel is standard with our high-end badges, Hi-Glo®, Rho-Glo®, Two Tone, and VHB Karat Klad.

  • Heat Press -

    ​A heat press is a machine that delivers pressurized heat to an object so it can adhere​ to a piece of material.  A heat press is used in the application of our FlexBadge emblems.  For additional information about FlexBadge click here.

  • HiGlo -

    A base material which has a golden color throughout and requires no surface plating.  Highly polished to a brilliant luster, a clear coating is then applied to enhance its durability. HiGlo is one of Blackinton's high end finishes and it carries a lifetime of the badge warranty and can be refinished at no charge, except for a handling fee.​ 

    Click here if you would like to see all the finishes Blackinton offers.


  • -I-
  • Incised Panel -

    A panel that is engraved and color is placed in the letters. 



     ​

  • Insignia -

    A distinguishing mark of office, rank, membership, honor, or nationality, generally worn on the shirt / jacket or collar.​


  • -J-
  • Jbar -

    Are customized metal name bars that are part of our QuickShip program, meaning they ship from the factory within 5 working days of receiving the order.​  Click here to view our Jbar line.

  • JStock -

    Blackinton's stock line of products which includes badges, insignia, gift line items, challenge coins, commendation bars etc.​


  • -K-
  • KaratClad® -

    Very durable heavy gold electroplate (HGE) is the ultimate in 24K+ fine gold plate.  This process applies a uniformly thick coating of tarnish proof high karat gold, purer and more durable than gold plate.  This badge carries a lifetime warranty and can be refinished at no charge.  ​

    Click here to view all the Blackinton finishes.


  • -L-
  • Landmark Building Badge -

    A semi-custom badge that comes in three different styles, an economical way to customize a badge with a custom panel depicting a special building or landmark.​

  • Laser Engraved -

    Computerized lettering where enamel / metal is etched out of base product to create text / symbol.​

  • Laser Engraved Commendation Bars -

    One of our 100's of commendation bars that has regular enamel flowed into its sections.  After it is set either characters or symbols are engraved out of the enamel and than a clear epoxy is placed over the bar. Engraved bars are great when looking for a small amount of custom bars.​

    Click here to learn more about our laser engraved commendation bars. 

  • Leather Cutout -

    ​A leather cutout is the shape of a badge, and is cut into a leather wallet or case so a badge can be recessed.  Our partner for leather badge wallets and cases is Strong Leather.  They have many standard cutouts.  To see a listing of our Blackinton badge style numbers and the corresponding Strong Leather cutout code please click here.

  • Lucite -

    Is sometimes known as "acrylic embedment's".  It is an acrylic mixture that is hand poured into a mold and allowed to partially cure.  Then an object; i.e., a badge, is placed into the mixture by hand.  Heat and pressure are applied in an atmospheric oven for 24 hours to eliminate as many air bubbles and imperfections as possible and to complete the curing process.​  Click here to learn more about our Lucite offering.


  • -M-
  • Maltese Cross -

    The symbol of a fire department and the badge of a firefighter is, the Maltese Cross. The Maltese Cross is a symbol of protection and is worn as a badge of honor. Its story is hundreds of years old.

  • Mini-Badge -

    We have taken our most popular badge styles and created a smaller (mini) version of the badge and placed them in a "Mini-Badge" category.  The category contains both miniature badges and even smaller charms.  The badges in this series are available in Rhodium or Gold Plate, Regular enamel, Block lettering, with a standard seal, all for the same price.  Click here to view the badges in this series.

  • Modeled Seal -

    A three dimensional seal that can not hold enamel.  There are no metal walls in which to put the enamel.  This type of seal is not part of our free seal program.​

  • Mold -

    FlexBadges are manufactured using an injection moulding procedure.​  A mold, like a die, is what forms the FlexBadge.

  • Multi-Color Seal -

    Also known as a full color seal, it is a seal with two or more colors, this is free with high end badges; i.e., HiGlo®, RhoGlo®, Two Tone, and VHBKK.​


  • -N-
  • Neck Ribbon -

    It is the standard type of ribbon that comes with our medal style series:  A4117,A4118,A4119.  This type of ribbon must be requested for other medal styles.  It comes in a variety of colors and can be worn around your neck.​



  • Nickel -

    Nickel plate is a hot nickel solution applied by the electroplating process to the polished base metal of a badge.  It is silver in color with a fair amount of hardness.  Generally our most cost effective finish.  Nickel plate will sometimes lose some of its luster with age.  Carries a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.

    Click here to view all of Blackinton's finishes.


  • -O-
  • One Color Seal -

    A center seal that only contains one color of enamel​.


  • -P-
  • Panel -

    ​Is a section of a badge that generally contains either engraved text or text in a die.  Each badge style has a different amount of panels depending upon the style and size.

  • Panel Badge -

    ​Is considered a two piece or multi piece badge.  A panel badge offers a lot of design flexibility, because you can have a number of different panels applied to the badge.  The panels are not in the badge design.

  • Plate -

    ​Once polishing is finished a badge is racked and immersed in cleansing solution to remove all residue from previous operations, then the badge is electroplated to provide a finish coat or a base coat for a finish.

  • Polishing -

    Using an assortment of wheels and compounds badges are hand polished using a polishing wheel.  Polishing brings out the brightness and luster of the badges finish, and removes minor imperfections in the surface of the badge.  This is accomplished one badge at a time.​


  • -Q-
  • QuickShip -

    Blackinton® fast track products, items categorized under QuickShip, ship within 5 days after order receipt at Blackinton.​  Click here to learn more about this exciting program.


  • -R-
  • Refinishing -

    ​A repair service offered for badges and insignia manufactured by Blackinton®.  It is the art of putting a new finish on the badge or insignia.  Hi-Glo, Rho-glo, VHB KK and Two-Tone are finished for free (except for a small handling fee) all other finishes the customer is charged a refinishing fee.  More...>

  • Regalia -

    Also known as Fraternal Regalia: Ceremonial emblems of Royalty, high office, or an order.  Blackinton® manufacturers thousands of pieces of Fraternal Regalia worn by the likes of the Masons or Elks.​Click here to see the extensive Blackinton Regalia product line.

  • Regular Enamel -

    Standard with nickel, rhodium, gold plate, military black, VHB bronze, and rose gold badges.  Paint is flowed into letters than wiped out.  Letters are not flush with metal, you can feel the indentation.  ​

    Regular enamel for pieces of insignia; i.e., Commendation bar, allow for a vast array of vibrant colors.  Click here to view the standard Blackinton Enamel Colors.

  • Reverse Enamel Panel -

    Color is flowed into the panel of a badge.  The letters are raised and are the color of the metal.  A reversed panel does not have engraved letters - the letters are in the die.​



  • RFID -

    RFID - stands for radio frequency identification.  Every Blackinton SmartShield™badge includes a rugged RFID transponder chip embedded in the back of the badge, similar to those widely used in many other industries. This transponder, or “chip,” contains unique pre-programmed numeric coding. This encoding relates to information securely stored in a departmentor agency’s database. ​Click Here ​to learn more about Blackinton's SmartSheild badges.

  • Rhodium -

    An element in the Platinum metal group, Rhodium is a precious metal that is applied by the electroplating process over a bright nickel base.  Distinguished by its brilliant white finish and is tarnish resistant.  It will not discolor or peel from the surface of the badge.  Rhodium carries a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.​

    Click here to see all available Blackinton finishes.

  • RhoGlo -

    Very durable base material which is a solid silver color throughout.  RhoGlo requires no surface plating, and is highly polished to a brilliant luster, this badge carries a lifetime of the badge warranty and can be refinished at no charge (except for a handling fee.)​

    Click here to see all available Blackinton finishes.

  • Ribbon -

    Our medals come with your choice of ribbon.  The ribbon comes as either a windsor, drape, or neck ribbon, and they come in a variety of colors.

    Windsor: is folded in a triangular shape with a safety catch that adheres to the uniform.​ 


    Drape:  This is our standard ribbon style that accompanies most medals unless stated otherwise.  The ribbon comes in a variety of colors and is draped to hold the medal and has a safety catch that adheres to the uniform. 
     
    (Drape ribbon is not standard for Medal Style #'s: A4117,A4118 & A4119 standard would be neck ribbon)


     
    Neck Ribbon: ​allows you to hang the medal around your neck.  It is the standard type of ribbon that comes with our medal style series:  A4117,A4118,A4119.  This type of ribbon must be requested for other medal styles.  It comes in a variety of colors and can be worn around your neck.​
     
  • Ribbon Commendation Bar -

    Cloth ribbon bars are often paired with Blackinton Medals.  We currently have 56 different colors and variations of ribbons.​

  • Rim Seal -

    Denotes a seal with only one color around the rim of the seal.​

  • Roman Font -

    A serif type face like Times New Roman.  Roman lettering is standard on panel badges unless otherwise specified.​


  • -S-
  • Safety Catch -

    ​A badge attachment that is a pin that closes into a joint and catch.  The safety catch is generally used on badges that will be worn on your shirt or jacket.

    Click here to see all available attachments.

  • Scratch Engraving -

    ​Another name for this is diamond drag engraving, which is done using a non-rotating tip that is dragged across the metal.  The engraved area is not deep like it is with typical Incised engraving.   Scratch engraving allows you to do smaller letters.

  • Screw Back Attachment -

    ​A screw back attachment is generally used on a cap badge.  When screw back is ordered on badges the F105 (single screw with retention pin) is supplied.


    To view all our attachments click here.

  • Seal -

    A circular metal graphical element generally applied to the center of a badge​.  Click here to learn more about our seals.

  • SecureShift -

    Color-shifting microflakes that are embedded into a color section of your badge.  SecureShift allows you to verify a badges authenticity with just a glance - without changing the badges integrity.  A slight turn of the badge creates an obvious color-shifting effect!  This same technology is used to protect 80% of the world’s currency, and Blackinton® is the only badge manufacturer in the world licensed and authorized to use SecureShift® technology.​  More...>

  • Shell Back -

    Shell back badges are lighter than a solid badge.  Because of the thinner design more detail can be worked into the front of a shell back badge.  The back of the badge is not smooth there is a reverse relief of the badge.

  • SmartShield -

    Patented secure pre-programmed RFID chip that is embedded in the back of a badge.  The RFID enabled badge is pre-programmed with the badge owner’s credentials.  SmartShield® allows individuals instant identity and credential verification, as well as helping departments control badge issuance and inventory tracking.​  Blackinton is the only badge manufacturer in the world authorized to manufacturer and sell SmartShield badges.  More...>

  • Solder -

    A process used to fuse metal objects together to unite them.​

  • Solid Back -


    Heavier feeling badge that is highly durable.  The back has a non-snagging flat satin finish.

  • Stamping -

    Hydraulic press drops several tons of force onto a 4-5 ounce piece of raw material to squeeze the metal into the shape and form of the die.​

  • Stenciling -

    The art of hand lettering a badge with a hammer and steel type punches - only used with badge designs that can not be lettered with our computerized lettering system.​

  • Strong Leather -

    Strong Leather is one of our valued partners.  We work exclusively with Strong Leather to bring our customers the very best in genuine leather badge wallets and cases​.  To see a listing of Strong Leather cutout codes and the corresponding Blackinton badge style please click here.


  • -T-
  • Text Separators -

    ​Any badge that has a circle panel can have "optional" separators between the text separating the top of the circle and the bottom- Dots,  Stars or any design punch.  Dots are standard unless otherwise specified.

  • Trim Tool -

    After a badge is stamped the trim tool is used to trim away excess metal.​

  • Two Tone -

    Very durable combination of gold and silver colors.  Badges with applied panels will normally consist of Hi-Glo® material for the gold color and RhoGlo® for the silver color.  Badges of the one piece construction will consist of HiGlo® panels and Rhodium plate background or RhoGlo(R) panels and gold plate background. This badge carries a lifetime of the badge warranty and can be refinished at no charge, except for a handling fee.​

    Click here to view all available Blackinton finishes.


  • -U-
  • UVShift -

    UVShift is a Blackinton Badge Security solution.  A UV light activated code is embedded on the back of a Blackinton badge.  The badge can than only be validated by a hand held black light.  ​Click Here​ to learn more.


  • -V-
  • V.H.B. -

    The abbreviation V.H.B. stands for Virgil Henry Blackinton, the company's founder.  Virgil started Blackinton back in 1852.  ​

  • V.H.B. Black -

    Great for undercover work.  A subdued black finish over a base material which is lacquered to provide a durable finish, that also minimizes reflection. Carries a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.

     

    ​Click here to view all available Blackinton finishes.

  • V.H.B. Bronze -

    Great for commemorative use.  A base material, blackened and hand rubbed leaving the appearance of natural oxidation from age. Carries a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.​

    Click here to see all available Blackinton finishes.

  • V.H.B. KK -

    Another name for KaratKlad.  Very durable heavy gold electroplate is the ultimate in fine gold plate.  This process applies a uniformly thick coating of tarnish proof high karat gold, purer and more durable than gold plate.  This badge carries a lifetime of the badge warranty and can be refinished at no charge, except for a handling fee.​

    Click here to see all available Blackinton finishes.

  • V.H.B. Rose Gold -

    Great for commemorative use.  A darkened gold electroplated base material which is hand rubbed to create the appearance of an antique gold finish. Carries a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.​

    Click here to see all available Blackinton finishes.


  • -W-
  • Wallet Clip -

    A badge attachment that looks like a money clip, and generally has a slimmer fit and is used with wallets and cases.​

    Click here to see all available attachments.

  • Windsor Ribbon -

    The ribbon comes in a variety of colors and is folded in a triangular shape with a safety catch that adheres to the uniform.​

  • Wizard -

    Blackinton's online dealer portal where a dealer can purchase items, check account status, access marketing material, and much more.​


  • -Z-
  • ZorSecure -

    ​ZorSecure is a Blackinton Badge security solution, which offers a robust, easy, low cost authentication​ solution.  The tag is discretely located on the back of the badge and impossible to replicate.  Smart phone and secure database provides secure authentication.  Click Here​ to learn more.