Looking for advice before buying a silver belt buckle (The Silver Gallery)...

Nathan Detroit

Senior Member
628
... on the classic Tiffany model engine turned & so forth.

I see one at "The Silver Gallery" in Virginia - at a good price. Isn't a sterling silver belt buckle just a fungible item - sterling silver, its only ingredient, being fungible - so that there is no particular reason to choose one maker over another? (I mean, as long as they are honest about their silver content and reasonably competent smiths...) Or is there a reason other than resale value to pay top dollar for Tiffany?

Does anyone have experience with The Silver Gallyer - it's in Waynesboro, Virginia.

http://www.silvergallery.com/gifts-for-men/sterling-silver-belt-buckles/sterling-silver-engine-turned-belt-buckle

It says it's made for belts 1" wide. I thought 1.25 was the std. dress belt width. I wonder whether that could be a problem?

Advice on any other factors I should be thinking about much appreciated!
 

Wrenkin

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
164
Canada
Ontario
Toronto
Some buckles like the Tiffany the silver wraps all the way around the back to make a complete "loop" or "tube" through which the belt passes, if you can picture it. Others, like the modern Brooks or Polo versions are not constructed this way. The part at the end of the buckle, furthest from the attachment point to the strap, is just a flat sheet of silver that has been folded back at the top and bottom to create "tabs" when viewed from the rear. These tabs do not connect at the back to form a complete loop. Essentially you have a less sturdy buckle, and one that contains far less silver.
 

Dieu et les Dames

Super Member
1,942
United States
Florida
Gulf Breeze
A Tiffany buckle or one form your jeweler is going to be more substantial.

Please keep in mind that a 1" belt is way different from a 1.25".
I recommend that you buy a plated brass buckle form Trafalgar (~$55) and a (~$19) strap form beltmaster so you can really feel it out before you buy the real thing.

http://www.beltmaster.com/showprod.asp?subid=94&gid=4&catid=6
http://www.trafalgarstore.com/category/Trafalgar_Custom_Buckles_for_1_Straps/235

I can't help but feel that the 1" belt & buckle aren't substantial enough for my casual wear and that the buckle isn't conservative enough for business. This is my own problem. Regardless, I like the look and wish you better luck than me.
 

AlanC

Sartorial Sultan<br> Moderator, Trad Forum
8,795
United States
Heart of the Bluegrass
Lexington
1" is the traditional width. The Tiffany buckle is 1". Ben Silver sells a 1.25" set, both buckle and belts.

I have a vintage sterling engine turned buckle from ebay, but I ended up buying a Tiffany. I looked around, but realized I would always be a bit disappointed that I didn't get the Tiffany. It might not matter to you.
 

Dave Scoven

New Member
53
United States
Virginia
Richmond
A Tiffany buckle or one form your jeweler is going to be more substantial.

Please keep in mind that a 1" belt is way different from a 1.25".
I recommend that you buy a plated brass buckle form Trafalgar (~$55) and a (~$19) strap form beltmaster so you can really feel it out before you buy the real thing.
QUOTE]

I just received a silver over brass monogramed buckle ($95) and strap ($65) from Trafalgar. Couldn't be happier. I looked at the Tiffany a week before I ordered the Tarfalgar. The Tiffany ($225, sterling silver) is very nice, but the Trafalgar is all I will ever really need. At some point, I will probably buy a Tiffany to pass on to my son, but that would be the only reason I'd buy it. The Trafalgar is perfectly fine. It looks great.
 

SCsailor

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
210
United States
South Carolina
Columbia
I've been wearing a trafalgar sterling buckle for years. I love it. Very high quality. Before I spent the money for a sterling I started with the plated silver over brass. It looked good for about a year. Eventually it fell apart. Go ahead and spend the money for a sterling buckle from Tiffany or Trafalgar, you won't regret it. Get an alligator belt too.
 

jerry_in_motown

New Member
56
United States
CA
Modesto
I was in Tiffanys San Francisco today and they did not have one, the clerk did a lookup and said they are on backorder conpany wide until September.
 

tuckspub

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
112
United States
texas
dallas
I recently bought a Tiffany buckle on Ebay for $50, it was priced low because it had been engraved both on the front and back with initials and a message. I used my Dremmel tool along with a polishing disk and some jewelers rouge to remove all the engraving, carefully avoiding the engine turned areas. I think this works fine as long as the engraving is not very deep, as in hand engraved. I doubt that a jeweler would charge more than around $50 for this service so the savings would be significant. A friend of mine was in the silver retail business and bought almost all his sterling christening mugs for babies on Ebay, he would send them to have the engraving removed and then sell them as "estate" items. He hardly ever purchased mugs from his wholesaler because the profit margin was greater on the previously engraved items.
I just took the time to look on Ebay and currently there is one engraved Tiffany belt with buckle for the current bid price of $12!! Now I am sure it will go up before the auction closes, but there are several out there on the site today, you couldn't go wrong in my mind.
 
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eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
29,432
Harmony, FL
United States
Florida
Harmony
1" is the traditional width. The Tiffany buckle is 1". Ben Silver sells a 1.25" set, both buckle and belts.

I have a vintage sterling engine turned buckle from ebay, but I ended up buying a Tiffany. I looked around, but realized I would always be a bit disappointed that I didn't get the Tiffany. It might not matter to you.
My experience has been similar. For years I wore a strap fitted with a knock-off sterling buckle and then a couple of Christmases back the wife gifted me with an engraved Tiffany buckle. Perhaps I'm just trying to convince myself, but the added appeal of the Tiffany buckle was and remains palpable. The Tiffany buckle sees regular wear and the generic buckle sits unused in my dresser! While I don't recall anyone ever taking note of my old buckle, I have received several compliments (actually, just two) on the new buckle. :icon_scratch: