Collecting belt buckles is a popular hobby, and silver buckles in particular are highly collectible. Western belt buckles, Native American buckles, and vintage or antique belt buckles are among the most common. It is important for collectors to take care of their belt buckles, by cleaning and polishing and the silver. Even those who do not collect buckles but own belts with silver buckles need to clean the buckles regularly to prevent tarnishing.
Regular Care and Cleaning
To prevent tarnishing and avoid having to perform deep cleans of silver belt buckles, it is best to give them a regular, gentle cleaning. Store them in separate protective pouches in a cool, dry place. This prevents scratches forming and protects them from heat and humidity. It is inadvisable to regularly clean silver with chemicals, or even natural homemade solutions. Instead, wipe silver buckles with a soft, dry cloth.
Sellers of silverware and some jewellery stores sell specially made silver cloths. Pre-treated lightly with chemicals, the clothes work to keep silver clean and give it shine. However, chemically treated cloths should touch not all silver belt buckles. A 100 per cent dry cotton cloth cleans most silver buckles the best. Take the cloth and gently, but firmly, rub the belt buckle. Avoid using any coarser materials; otherwise, there is a risk of scratching the metal. Water and mild soap work well as a cleaning solution for silver belt buckles.
Performing a Deeper Clean
Taking proper care to look after silver belt buckles is the best way to keep them from tarnishing. However, collectors may purchase antique and second-hand pieces in less than stellar condition. In cases such as these, consider doing a deeper clean. It is possible to do this with a store-bought cleaner, or using one of several methods consisting of solutions made at home. If an item is particularly valuable, consider having it professionally cleaned.
Using Store Bought Cleaners
Ready-made silver polishes are available to buy, specially designed to clean silver. Whereas most homemade solutions involve submerging the silver, one wipes these polishes onto the mental. A silver belt buckle attached to the belt works best with a wipeable polish. Before using a polish, wash the buckle in warm water and a mild soap. Use a soft cloth to apply the polish and avoid leaving it on for too long, to avoid damage to the silver.
Homemade Cleaning Solutions
Common household items in a cleaning solution are good cleaners for silver belt buckles. This makes cleaning silver belt buckles more economical, particularly when cleaning many pieces at once.
Combine one part bicarbonate of soda to 15 parts boiling water. Cover a baking dish with foil, shiny side up. Place the buckle in the dish and cover with water and bicarbonate of soda. Leave for several minutes, then rinse and carefully dry.
Combine 500ml vinegar and 1 tablespoon of salt. Heat the vinegar, and then add the salt. Soak the buckle for several minutes, then rinse and dry.
Combine warm water and soap. Gently wash the buckle in the mixture. Use a soft cloth to buff dry
These methods are not suitable for all types of silver. Avoid them if the buckle has any non-silver parts, or has any purposefully blackened areas. Again, consider having valuable pieces professionally cleaned.
How to Buy Silver Belt Buckles on eBay
To make your search for silver belt buckles on eBay easier you should perform searches that separate collectible buckles and one-of-a-kind pieces from fashion belts and jewellery. Include the word 'antique' or 'vintage' in your search if you are collecting buckles of this type, for example 'antique silver belt buckle'. Sellers on eBay auctioning collectible buckles are often international sellers, so be sure to check their country of origin. To cut down on your shipping time and cost, search for sellers in your area or nearby.