Product Description: This is a steel, wartime type SS Belt Buckle. The front bares no trace of paint, if there was a painted finish at one time it was either worn off or (perhaps more likely) carefully polished away. The front of this SS belt buckle features good detail, though there is some apparent wear to the high points. There is a slightly rough patch on one corner that may be where some surface rust was cleaned at one time. There is some patination to the recesses of the design on the front, which gives a pleasant, visually appealing contrast to the brighter shine of the bare steel high points. There is no evident rust or corrosion. The reverse of this SS Belt Buckle appears to retain much of the original silver “radiator paint” finish. There is some old glue that appears to have been used to mount this on a display in the past, we have made no attempt to clean this old residue. The spot welded steel catch is intact, as is the roller and prong assembly, which is still functional. This SS Belt Buckle remains an eye-catching, representative example of this very desirable and scarce buckle type.
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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