German-Helmets.com  - The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945

    Fakes and Reproductions:  Chinstrap Buckles

Reproduction Buckles

Many reproduction buckles look similar to wartime originals.  However under close examine they are not exactly the same as originals in overall dimensions, quality, metal type, or coloring.  The photos below show all of the most common reproductions that exist.

Reproduction buckles and leather chinstraps were produced as far back as the 1970's.  Some reproduction chinstraps actually utilize original chinstrap buckles.  However, this is not very common due to the fact that there is no single source for large quantities of original unused chinstrap buckles.  As a result, those interested in replicating helmet chinstraps have had the correct buckle dies remanufactured so that they can create a chinstrap that looks similar to an original.  In some cases the dies are made using an original buckle.  This can produce a reasonable example although the finished product looks as though it was cast from a mold.

Until recently the only reproduction buckles and chinstraps were manufactured in bare metal.   Most reproduction chinstrap buckles are not produced using painted metal finishes, although one might suspect that this will be the next phase of reproduction artistry yet to hit the collectors' market place.  Few have been reproduced using aluminum as found on some original pre-war buckles manufactured in Germany.  In addition, large quantities of former West German helmet chinstraps have been disassembled and the buckle removed for use in making reproduction chinstraps.  In some cases the buckle has been repainted.

The examples below are all relatively common in the collectors' marketplace.  No doubt some of the examples shown have been sold as "original."  It is important to note that original wartime leather never smells as though it is new.  In addition, most original buckles show heavy wear, patina, and in some cases rust.  This has been effectively reproduced by counterfeit artists who have discovered that chemical aging of both metal and leather can produce a result that is similar to that found on aged originals.  While the examples below are shown in "mint" (unused) condition, all of the buckles have been observed in heavily aged, chemically deteriorated examples that have been sold as original. 

 

Reproduction Topics

Fakes and Reproductions Main

Basic Tips for Collectors

Reproduction Buckles

Reproduction Chinstraps

Reproduction Decals

Reproduction Dome Stamps

Reproduction Helmet Labels

Reproduction Liners

How to Identify a Fake

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gun Metal Blued

Bare Thin Metal

Dark Gray Metal

Polished Aluminum

Bare Metal (Large Buckle)

Gray Painted Steel

   
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