Over the past few days, Highway Stars has received many phone calls regarding "what is an authentic GM fender badge" VS a high quality reproduction with enamel LIKE finish (keyword is "LIKE")
We thought we would take this opportunity to help customers understand the differences between the "AUTHENTIC GM Grand National Fender badge" sold at Highway Stars, vs other badges on the market.
The original GM Grand National fender badges(available from Highway Stars) were made in the US by the original manufacturer. They are cloisonné emblems which are PRODUCED FROM A COPPER BASE ALLOY that is die-struck (stamped) in multiple steps to achieve the desired size and shape. Features are then filled with colored powdered glass (In the Grand National Badge, it was Black glass, Red glass, and Golden Yellow glass). The emblem is fired at high temperatures to melt the powder and fuse the glass to the metal. The excess surface glass is removed and the emblem is re-fired to produce an even layer of NON-FADING, scratch resistant colored glass. The emblem is buffed and polished before it goes through a NICKEL-CHROME PLATING PROCESS to ensure a bright corrosion resistant surface.
Signs of aging on a GM Authentic Grand National Fender badge: After approx 25-30 years, authentic GM badges (which are made of a copper base as described above) may show signs of oxidation (green color) due to the copper in the badge. The glass may crack, but generally does NOT FADE because it is made of cloisonne glass. (not plastic, not paint, not magnetic)
Unfortunately, there are knock off badges being sold on the internet, which often fade within a short period of time in the sun. They are commonly advertised as high quality reproduction which are silver,red, orange and black enamel-LIKE (keyword- "LIKE") finish.
The reason these knock off badges fade so quickly, is because they are NOT "GM AUTHENTIC CLOISSONNE EMBLEMS- made by the original manufacturer. The cloisonne process is a higher end/more expensive process than normal. Remember, when buying badges, you get what you pay for. Hope this information is helpful.
Watch our video for additional details