Belt Buckles

Belt buckles have been used since pre-historic times, when primitive hunter-gatherer tribes fashioned them from antler and bone to hold looped belts in place. Now long removed from the simple utility of cavemen, the modern, more intricate belt buckle has its roots in ancient China and Rome.

In the 3rd and 2nd century B.C., Mongolian tribes wore belted tunics adorned with embellished buckles. They were often shaped like powerful animals including wolves, oxen, and ibexes. Early Roman belt buckles were D- and square-shaped, forged by blacksmiths from pieces of wrought iron. As Rome's power faded, German invaders donned intricate belt buckles depicting animals engaged in battle.

During the Civil War era, military belt buckles influenced the style of most others to come. With the arrival of 1880s, Navajo Indian silversmiths were crafting silver and turquoise buckles, and by the turn of the 20th century, cowboys were sporting oversized silver buckles that ushered in a new sensibility of American style. Vintage belt buckles today are at once unique fashion statements and popular objects among collectors.


Quick Facts

  • A heavy filigreed rectangular gold belt buckle was unearthed from the tomb of Childeric I, the king of the Franks (436-481 A.D.)
  • Said to be the most expensive belt buckle in the world, the Roland Iten Calibre R822 Predator mechanical buckle is priced at $400,000. It is crafted from 18-carat white gold and titanium and adorned with 387 baguette-cut and round-cut diamonds totaling 14.15 carats
  • In 2010 and 2011 High Noon auctions, a Roy Rogers western-style belt buckle sold for a record $69,000 while a belt buckle once owned by rodeo legend Jim Shoulders fetched $12,650

Recommended Items at Auction

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Wil Aren Western Originals Elk Inlaid Belt Buckle
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Wil Aren Western Originals Elk Inlaid Belt Buckle
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$52 Bids
Antique U.S. Silver Morgan Dollar and Buffalo Head Nickel Belt Buckle
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Antique U.S. Silver Morgan Dollar and Buffalo Head Nickel Belt Buckle
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$302 Bids
Ray Bennett Sterling Bear Claw Belt Buckle W/ Ring
Oct 23, 10:00 AM MST
Ray Bennett Sterling Bear Claw Belt Buckle W/ Ring
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$502 Bids
(15) Belt Buckles
Oct 23, 9:30 AM EDT
(15) Belt Buckles
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$201 Bid
A RARE EARLY PHOENIX ENAMELLED AND GILDED BELT BUCKLE, 18cm long.
Oct 20, 10:30 AM BST
A RARE EARLY PHOENIX ENAMELLED AND GILDED BELT BUCKLE, 18cm long.
by John Nicholsons Fine Art Auctioneer & Valuer
Est: £500- £600
£4401 Bid
Chinese / Tibetan Silver Belt
Oct 22, 9:00 AM EDT
Chinese / Tibetan Silver Belt
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $200- $600
$701 Bid
Western/Tribal Antler Inlaid Belt Buckle
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Western/Tribal Antler Inlaid Belt Buckle
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
An Hermès reversible leather belt, 1990s,
Oct 25, 10:30 AM BST
An Hermès reversible leather belt, 1990s,
by Kerry Taylor Auctions
Est: £100- £150
£801 Bid
Vintage 22k Gold On Sterling Crumrine Belt Buckle
Oct 23, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage 22k Gold On Sterling Crumrine Belt Buckle
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
RED JASPER BELT BUCKLE ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Oct 20, 1:00 PM CDT
RED JASPER BELT BUCKLE ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
GENUINE STONE BELT BUCKLE
Oct 20, 1:00 PM CDT
GENUINE STONE BELT BUCKLE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
Artist Signed Brass Mountain and Sun Folk Art Belt Buckle
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Artist Signed Brass Mountain and Sun Folk Art Belt Buckle
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
Chinese Imperial Belt Buckle
Oct 24, 1:00 PM AEDT
Chinese Imperial Belt Buckle
by Arts Of World Auctioneer and Valuer
Est: AUD8,000- AUD15,000
AUD4,4000 Bids
(15) Belt Buckles
Oct 23, 9:30 AM EDT
(15) Belt Buckles
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$200 Bids
GLASGOW SCHOOL SYMBOLIST BELT BUCKLE, CIRCA 1900
Oct 21, 10:00 AM BST
GLASGOW SCHOOL SYMBOLIST BELT BUCKLE, CIRCA 1900
by Lyon & Turnbull
Est: £400- £600
£2000 Bids
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Collectible Vintage Silver Color Belt
Oct 22, 11:00 AM PDT
Collectible Vintage Silver Color Belt
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $50- $60
$200 Bids
Vintage high quality belt set with solid brass buckle
Nov 01, 11:30 PM EDT
Vintage high quality belt set with solid brass buckle
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $175- $200
$1250 Bids
Early Mattel buckle gun with western belt in original box
Nov 01, 11:30 PM EDT
Early Mattel buckle gun with western belt in original box
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $275- $300
$2000 Bids
Most improved average bowling award belt buckle
Nov 01, 11:30 PM EDT
Most improved average bowling award belt buckle
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $65- $75
$450 Bids
David Webb, Gold serpent belt buckle
Oct 20, 11:00 AM EDT
David Webb, Gold serpent belt buckle
by Rago Arts and Auction Center
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$2,4000 Bids
LOT OF 6 BUCKLES - 30s / 40s
Oct 25, 3:00 PM CEST
LOT OF 6 BUCKLES - 30s / 40s
by Bertolami Fine Art
Est: €70- €100
€700 Bids
LOT OF 6 BUCKLES - 30s / 40s
Oct 25, 3:00 PM CEST
LOT OF 6 BUCKLES - 30s / 40s
by Bertolami Fine Art
Est: €70- €100
€700 Bids
LOT OF 6 BUCKLES - 30s / 40s
Oct 25, 3:00 PM CEST
LOT OF 6 BUCKLES - 30s / 40s
by Bertolami Fine Art
Est: €70- €100
€700 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Belt Buckles


Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Bertolami Fine Art

Bertolami Fine Art

Showplace

Showplace

John Nicholsons Fine Art Auctioneer & Valuer

John Nicholsons Fine Art Auctioneer & Valuer