Product Description: This is an excellent representative example of the scarce German Miners belt buckle. This pattern of buckle, constructed in this fashion, was used in the prewar years and also into WWII by members of the German miners association, the Bergbau. The body of the buckle is made of stamped brass, with a beautiful, rich old patina. The front of the buckle bears the crossed hammer and mallet organizational emblem of the Bergbau, neatly executed in stamped Tombak and finely silver plated. The silver plating has an attractive frosted appearance, and shows some wear to high points, revealing the brass alloy base metal. This emblem is affixed to the buckle with two prongs, that pass through a hole in the body of the buckle, and are soldered on the reverse. The reverse of this German miners belt buckle features a soldered brass wire catch, and functional nickel-plated belt attachment prongs. As is typical for buckles of this style, there is no manufacturer marking. This belt buckle is uncleaned, complete, and in excellent condition overall. It is an appealing variant of the German miners belt buckle.
Historical Description: The belt buckle was an important part of the regalia worn by all uniformed military, civil, political and paramilitary organizations during the Third Reich. The belt (“Koppel”) was part of the uniform, and would always be worn while on duty. The belt buckle (“Koppelschloss”) was generally specific to each organization, with many organizations having separate belt buckles for officers and for enlisted personnel, sometimes with different colors and finishes to further denote specific purposes. The buckles were adorned with various mottos and designs specific to the organizations for which they were intended. Many designs used the German national eagle emblem, in a variety of forms. Belt buckles were worn with uniforms ranging from finely tailored officer parade uniforms, to the issue uniforms of enlisted soldiers in combat. Generally speaking, most German belt buckles of the Third Reich were made with two prongs on the reverse, to allow the buckle to be worn and adjusted on a belt. The buckle had a catch that would mate with a hook on the belt, when worn. The earliest Third Reich buckles were often made of brass, or nickel silver. Later, aluminum became very common, and was used on private purchase as well as enlisted buckles of the German military, with or without a painted or plated finish. After WWII began, most enlisted military buckles were steel. Nazi belt buckles were popular souvenirs for Allied troops who served in Europe. Some types were made by the millions and remain quite common today. Others were made in limited numbers and are very rare.
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