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Vintage Belt Buckles Through the Decades

A practical and fun accessory, belt buckles can tell people a lot about who you are and what you're interested in. A vintage belt buckle, in particular, tells a story. You can find stylish vintage belt buckles at various affordable prices on eBay.

Common materials antique belt buckles are made from

Before the days of mass production and disposable fashion, clothing and accessories were made from more lasting material. Old belt buckles can be made from an almost endless variety of lost-lasting and attractive natural products, from the most humble to the most expensive, and you can find many on eBay.

  • Common metals - Possibly the most frequently seen material is metal. Common metals include metal alloys such as pewter or brass, and the exact alloy composition affects everything from appearance to durability.
  • Precious metals - Bronze, silver, and gold are also used in belt buckles. These belt buckles may also include gemstones such as turquoise and require a bit more care.
  • Leather - Leather buckles often have elaborate designs, accomplished by a combination of carving, stamping, and even branding.
What themes are common in belt buckles?

While it's possible to find any and every style of vintage belt buckles for sale on eBay, there are some recurring themes that are most frequently found.

  • Cowboy western - This may be the number one most common theme found in belt buckles for sale. Ornamental belt buckles and cowboys go hand in hand, both in current media depictions and in history.
  • Native American - Some of the most beautiful buckles out there fall within this category. Tribal patterns, animal depictions and colorful stonework make these Native American designs stand out.
  • Military - Used to identify or honor specific battles, officers, and battalions, these patriotic designs display a slice of history.
  • Hobby-based - Another large category includes all the various hobby-related designs. Sports take center field here, but activities such as music, automotive, or even full occupations are recognized here.
Designs span decades

Belt buckles are much more than a passing fad. On eBay, belt buckles can be found that are well over 100 years old.

  • 1890s - These antique belt buckles include Victorian designs, Art Nouveau, and even ancient coin insets.
  • Turn of the century - Art Deco and rhinestones start to be featured more often in these designs as well as ones mentioning corporations and schools.
  • Late 20th century - Some of the quirkiest designs come from the end of the 20th century, including ones that feature motorcycles, cars, and intentionally cartoonish animals.