Suggested reference books on buckles:

American Military Belt Plates, by Michael J. O Donnell & J. Duncan Campbell

Plates and Buckles of the American Military, by Sydney Kerksis

Confederate Belt Buckles & Plates, by Steve Mullinax

Repro Buckles of the Civil War, by Howard Crouch

The Illustrated History of Civil War Relics, by Steve Sylvia & Michael J. O Donnell

Civil War Arifacts, by Howard Crouch

Just an FYI...there is very little real 7th Cavalry stuff on the market and the real stuff is worth big bucks.  This is a reproduction as is 99.9% of all "7th Cavalry" items.

This seller is confused.  This fake is an Indian Wars style buckle.  This is the M1872 style buckle.  The hook is typical repro and why anyone would stamp a Civil War date in an Indian War buckle is beyond me.

This is a fake Virginia swordbelt plate.  Look at the tiny casting flaws on the face.  Originals did not have this and had much more detail.  This plate is most likely a Hanover Brass reproduction.  The seller was trying to get $6000.  Luckily for the collecting community...it did not sell.

This is a low end, crappy reproduction made into a low end, crappy fake.  Lead overfill, artificial age job...junque.

Why do people that sell junk like this as real have a tendancy to blur photographs?  To hide the telltale signs that the item is a fake.  Note this seller blurred the front photographs.  Most blur the backs.  This is a total piece of elephant feces.

Nasty fake breastplate.  The feathers are dots, and that patina is just ugly.

Typical, crappy, fake Texas buckle.  The hooks are wrong and the patina is applied.

Bullet-struck??  PLEASE!!  This is a reproduction buckle some jackwagon punched a hole in and stuck in a dropped bullet.

This is a fantasy Confederate buckle.  The age job isn't bad, but this buckle never existed during the Civil War.

Yet another fake Texas buckle.  I hate to tell the seller but the flag behind it does nothing to make it look real.

This is junk in so many ways!  Bad hooks, modern letter stamps, fake date stamp...this is pure dung.

Look at the fake, aged forked-tongue buckle at the top.  Note the casting flaws.  Now look at the reproduction made by Hanover Brass.  SAME BUCKLE!  The best fake patina on earth won't hide casting flaws.

If toilet paper was brass...this buckle would be Charmin.  Total junk.

If you are too lazy to take clear photos...get a new hobby.  This buckle is a clunker anyway...

100% junk Maryland buckle. 

Why would you bother to age and shoot this total fantasy CS buckle??  How about the blurry back shot?  Crooks never learn...

Yessir!  I got me a reproduction buckle...I melted the face and buried it in a flowerpot for 3 months...then I blurred the photo of the back so you would have trouble seein' how fake the hooks are!  Another bumbling conman that ages the most obvious of reproductions.  What a maroon!

This is a VERY fake Confederate Navy buckle on a real late 1800's belt.  Note the bogus stamping on the back of this fantasy buckle, and the rapid-applied patina.

This OVM buckle has typical fake hooks, overfilled lead, and the letter style is not consistant with originals.

This style Virginia buckle is a STAMPED not CAST buckle.  This fake example is cast, and the detail is awful. 

Some crook went to the trouble of aging and trying to make this fake look dug, but you can see the fake hooks, and the lead overfill.

It doesn't get much faker than this!  Note the crummy hook in the back.

This is an aged up, fake CSA.  Laquer coated and burned.  the hooks are total fantasy.

This is an acid-aged fake.  The hooks are incorrect, and the real buckle like this is stamped, not cast.  This is slimeball-made junk.

Well, the CS oval is a total fantasy, hard to say on the CSA on the belt....BUT...if one is a fake...

I have no clue what this is supposed to be, but the seller thought it was a Confederate buckle.  The USS North Carolina is a World War II battleship.  Oh well...

This is just ugly!  The face has a funky artificial patina, and the back is awful!  Fake as a six-dollar bill.

This picture is like Hillary Clinton's campaign...nothing real in it!  Horrible fake buckle and a knife.

I think (hope) the seller of this reproduction was just ignorant of buckles.  This type of buckle was stamped, not cast, and that loop on the back is very modern.  It almost looks like a door hinge.

This fake, aged North Carolina buckle could be dangerous.  Note the hooks which are typical repro hooks.

This is a fake "small" US buckle. 

This is a fake made from a super-rare Confederate plate.  This may be a Parsley plate.

If the Spongebob photo didn't clue you in...this is a fake/fantasy Confederate buckle with the lead backing removed and the patina added in a flowerpot somewhere.

What can I say?  This is the epitome of junk.  A fantasy CS buckle with a hole punched through it (not by a bullet) and a paint or shoe-polish patina added. 

This fake Navy buckle is easily ID'd when you view the back of the tongue.  The disc on the originals is stamped and applied, while this one is cast in.  You can also see evidence of sanding on the tongue as well.  This may be a Hanover Brass reproduction.

This tongue and wreath are marriage, both reproductions.  Note the spots on the back of the tongue where someone did some Dremelling or sanding to remove a maker's ID.

This is a very typical reproduction SNY.  Note the basic repro hooks, and the wide rim.  Patina looks like applied Birchwood Casey.

Fake CSA rectangle.  Seller's of fakes like this often remove the hooks on a plate because it is the hooks that often give it away as a repro.

Another "estate sale" treasure!  Fake CSA officer's buckle.

This buckle has obvious repro hooks on the back, but another thing that gives it away and gives away other similar repos is the fact that originals were STAMPED brass, while this is SAND CAST.  THe stamped buckles were MUCH thinner, and lack the grainy look in the face.

This reproduction on the face looks like an original.  It is the nasty looking hooks that give it away.  This buckle is pictured in Howard Crouch's REPRO BUCKLES of the CIVIL WAR.

The buckle on the left (top) is a reproduction.  Note the "puffiness" of the silver wreath, and also note that the wreath has the edges cut out.  Originals had straight lines like a cookie cutter.  The buckle on he right (bottom) is an original.  Note the difference in the wreaths.

This is a fake no matter HOW BAD the seller wants it to bea real.  Real militia buckles like this were thin and stamped.

Junk Louisiana buckle with the typical fake date stamped on the back.  NO CONFEDERATE BUCKLE EVER HAD A DATE STAMPED IN THE BACK!!!!  Especially with modern die stamps!

This is a fake stamped South Carolina on a belt.  It looks like someone has been busy scraping off a makers mark on the back.

This is an abysmal, horrible, fake buckle.  Anyone that falls for this deserves it!

The seller of this artificially aged and doctored repro is selling it as a reproduction.  The hooks are wrong, the patina is splotchy.

This fake is easily identified by the bogus stamping on the back of the tongue.  You will NEVER see these dates and such on an original.

There we have ANOTHER crappy, fake date stamp in the back of a reproduction buckle.

Fake Alabama Volunteer Corps buckle.  Bad lead back, bad fake stamp, bad drilled holes...BAD!!!!!

I have no clue WHAT this buckle is...but is IS NOT Civil War!  Lordy!

If the fake patina didn't clue you in that this is a fake...how about that junk date stamp on the back?

Yes my friends, this is a 100%, tried-and-true REPRODUCTION!

This is a rapid-aged, fake Texas oval.  Look at the cheesy hooks, that is a dead giveaway.

Yes...it IS ugly!  And as fake as a six-dollar bill.  Nothing is right on this! 

This one I'll call the Green Weenie!  A cheap giftshop repro buckle aged with patina-in-a-bottle.

This is a VERY good reproduction US oval.  The hooks and the lead fill are the keys to it being a reproduction.  The seller listed it as a repro, but a plate like this may likely be sold as real at some point.

As fake North Carolina buckles go, this one isn't bad.  The patina is good, the lead fill looks good, and the hooks look passable.  BUT this letter style was NEVER used on a NC oval.

Nothing is good about this poor man's paperweight.  This is a very fake US breastplate.  Note the horrendous lead fill.

Here is a junk, fantasy "Elmira Prison Guard" buckle.  Note the drilled holes, and if you are done laughing...read on.

This is a T-Total fake Confederate South Carolina boxplate.  Note the lack of detail in the face, the oversizes loops, and the fake "bullet" hole.  That hole was made with a punch of some sort.  If it was actually shot, the entire plate would be distorted.

This is a side-by-side comparison of the above Fake South Carolina plate (left) to a real one (right) that was recovered near Charleston, SC by relic diggers Bill and Kathy Hunt.  Look at the lack of detail in the fake. 

This is an abysmal, horrible, ugly, disgusting fake Confederate buckle!

Bad fake eagle officer's buckle.  The rim is too wide to cover the shrinkage, and the hooks are totally wrong for this type buckle.

 This M1851 Eagle officer's buckle is a 1960's reproduction by The Hanover Brass Foundry.  Back in the late 60's ,and the early 70's Gary Williams (Owner) had several people molding and finishing buckles. At the end of each week Gary would pay each person by the letter of his last name which was stamped in the back of the buckle. Y  was Henry Yelinek, H  was Bobby Higgins, and there was also  a P (not Parsley) but Mike Pomfrey, M was Ronnie Mantlo, G for Ronnie Gooch and of course W for the best.  I was unable to obtain a photo of the reverse, but I hope that this information will still be useful to buyers. 

This chuckle is proof that the maker flunked out of Foundry School.  Well...at least the tape measure is real

This is  fantasy Virginia. 

A gaggle of reproductions, nicely framed, being sold as originals.  Oiy Vey!

"Lawsa' me Missa' Scarlett!  I don't know nuffin' 'bout Confederate egg buckles!"  Typical fast-aged junk.  The cruddy Spongebob photos are intended to hide the flaws. 

Here is another winner of the JUNK OF THE WEEK e-bay auctions!  Poorly done craftstore patina on a moderately good reproduction buckle.  Beware the sellers that use the faux-wood background in their photos!

A little Birchwood-Casey, ding the face a little and you have a great example of a fake Confederate buckle!  Fantasy hooks really complete the picture.

What is this hybrid-fake??  A boxplate, or a buckle?  Either way it is a repro from the 1970's.  Note the dots for feathers on the face.  That is always a dead giveaway.

Look, if you looked at this waste of metal and thought it looked convincing...STOP!  Either go buy a reference book, or start collecting Beanie Babies!  This is a fantasy, flea market, junk plate.  Anytime you see the holes in the corners, it is a modern clunker.

The sleazoid that sells this fake sells a lot of fakes, all with this same fake patina, most have the blurry back shot, and all have the same generic white background.  He claims in his e-bay username to be a veteran of D-Day.  I think he is a crook for selling this ass-candy.

The enterprising goob that did the etching on this hunk o junk was either drunk, or needs bifocal glasses.

You know, if it wasn't for the fact that this is a total fantasy style Confederate buckle, it wouldn't be half bad.  Nice applied patina, and a good job in the overall aging process.  Too bad the seller wasted his talents on a buckle type that never existed.  DUH!

Here is an acid-aged fake SNY buckle.  Note how eaten up the face is, and how shiny metal shows through the applied patina on the back.

This is one of those "it might be real" auctions.  *sigh!*  This is an obvious repro.  The hooks are wrong, and the lettering is wrong.

This SHOULD be an obvious reproduction.  The hooks are junk.

This is a VERY fake Texas buckle.  Note the rapid-age job.

This is a T-total junker!  It is a poorly aged Louisiana plate being sold by the CUTEST little crook on e-bay!

You gotta' love the intentional Spongebob blurry photo of the back of this clunker.  I wonder why he could only get a clear shot of the face?

This is yet another fantasy Confederate buckle.  Beware ANY plate with the holes drilled in the sides.

Here is a fake, very heavily fake-aged US oval.  AND IT IS SHOT!  WOW!  How lucky you could be!  A fake shot buckle!

This is a VERY good fake of a non-dug Union breastplate.  Look at the feathers on the arrows.  They aren't really feathers but are dots.  These were made in the 1960's and 1970's and all have great patina's now so ALWAYS look close before buying! (Photo courtesy of www.thegettysburgdigger.com)

Why anyone would think this metal birdcage liner is real is beyond me.  Total fantasy junk.

Nice of the dillweed selling this scrap brass junk to date it for you!

Here is a fake wreath from the seller selling the fake tongue below.  See where the slime used a Dremel tool to sand off the maker's initials on the back?  You can see how he sanded the face to give it a worn look before adding a patina.


BEWARE the yutz that sells the tongues and wreaths seperate on e-bay!  Yes I know that they are often sold this way on dealer's websites, but on e-bay this is a common scam.  Look at this fake Leech & Rigdon tongue.  See the shiny brass peeking through the applied "patina?"  FAKE!!!  Scammers feel it is easier to sell the pieces seperate becuase it makes it harder to find similar flaws on known repros.

These are about as real as Cher's butt-cheeks!  In other words...F-A-K-E!!!!  Wrong hooks, fake stampings, photos taken with a Spongebob camera...total junk.

This is one of the super-rare Confederate buckles being sold on e-bay for $9.99 and NO RESERVE!  Puh-Lease!!  Total fake.  Wrong hooks and fake stamping.  JUNK!!!!!!!!!

This isn't the worst fake buckle ever made, but it is a fake.  Applied patina.

Just an FYI:  THERE IS NO REAL CONFEDERATE BUCKLE WITH THIS PERFECT LETTER STYLE AND LOOK!  This is a pattern that was put out in the 1960's during the 100 year centennial.  Some will have a patina by now, and all have a lead back which was VERY uncommon in Southern wartime buckles.  This face is a common one you see the fakers selling.

This, if you are new as a collector, looks like a good dug Confederate plate.  WRONG!!  This is a FANTASY plate.  Fantasy plates are plates that never existed in the Civil War era but were made later.  This may have been made in the 1960's.  The patina and dug look may look good, but remember DIRT HIDES A LOT!  Buy CONFEDERATE BELT BUCKLES AND PLATES, by Steve Mullinax.  It will help you not make a costly error.

Here is a comparison for you.  There are two buckles here, on the left (or top) is a fake that has been acid-aged to the point you can't tell what it is.  On the right (or bottom) is a real buckle on a red background.  This is an 1820's era militia buckle.  The fake is a copy of this.  The seller has acid-aged it and mixed in some "Patina in a Bottle" he got at a local craft store.  He REALLY wants it to look dug and old.  There are many fake buckles out there with a great dug look.  Many have this eaten-up acid look.  Don't be fooled.  Buy, AMERICAN MILITARY BELT PLATES, by Michael J. O Donnell.  Never get caught by this crap. 

This 100% fake Virginia breastplate has a very poorly applied craftstore patina.  I guess the maroon selling it is new to the use of "patina in a bottle."  I'm sure he will improve this valuable skill with time.

This is a fake CSA oval.  These were made during the 100 year centennial in the 1960's.  This is a fantasy buckle.  There was never one that looked like this.

This is the same fantasy CS buckle you see all over, only this one has bee rapid aged with a patina chemical.

This is a VERY good fake.  It was ID'd as fake by its maker, Gary Williams.

Here is another of the fantasy CS buckles.  I keep adding these because they are seen so often and in so many forms.

This is a well-made, but still fake Confederate buckle.  The stamp is modern lettering.  The hook is just crap.

The idiot who was peddling this piece of junk is a famous scammer, but he has been forced by e-bay to list his fakes in the REPRO category.  This is a horrible fake.  The hooks are so bad you can HEAR them.  The lettering on the face is also inconsistant with any original Atlanta Arsenal plate.  YUCK!

A lot of fakers like to rapid-age a two piece buckle, then sell the pieces seperate.  This is a reproduction wreath with a fake patina as evidenced by where the patina was rubbed off and the shiny brass is showing.  Beware of wreath's and tongues being sold by themselves. 

This is a reproduction US buckle with an applied Birchwood-Casey patina.  This is a good reproduction known as a "Stokes-Kirk." 

These repro Virginia plates are a popular sell for the fakers.  The originals were STAMPED, and pretty thin.  The repros are often sand-cast, and CAN be made close to as thin as the originals.  You can also tell by looking at the face.  If you see the pitting caused by the sand-casting process, it is not an original.

This is a fantasy CS buckle like the ones pictured above, that has the "dug" look.  The seller did the right thing after he was notified and let folks know it was fake.

Fake Virginia buckle with an applied patina.  You can see the rectangle shape between the front and back hooks that is a mark by the maker.

This is a fake on a belt.  Look at the overfilled lead back, and the incorrect hooks.  This is in REPRO BUCKLES of the CIVIL WAR, by Howard Crouch.

This buckle is a real clunker.  The back is a horror story, the front is a fantasy letter style and a way too wide rim.  Did I mention the crappy fake patina??

Mo junk, mo junk, mo junk!  This is a poorly cast fake Confederate two-piece buckle.

Wrong hooks, fake patina, telltale spot where makers stamp was.  FAKE!!!!!!

This reproduction eagle breastplate was donated by Mr. Jerry Backof, a friend and fellow collector.  It is a VERY good, and old reproduction.  Look closely at the feathers on the arrows the eagle is grasping.  They are dots.  This is seen on reproductions from the 1970's, but NEVER on originals.  The patina is a bit spotty too, but those feathers are a dead giveaway.

This is a reproduction Hagner (Indian Wars) plate made by Herbert Parsley, probably in the 1970's.  The rapid-aged patina is horrible, but the best giveaway is the hook.  This hook style was Mr. Parsley's style until he died and is found on many plates.

This is another Parsley reproduction.  This buckle should have an applied silver wreath instead of a cast wreath, and it has the Parsley hook.  If you look close in front of the hook, you can see where someone filed off the makers stamp.

This one is coyote ugly.  A very poor stamping, and a total fantasy buckle.

This is a poorly casted junker you might see in a cheesy giftshop in Gettysburg.

This is a fantasy Confederate navy buckle.  Good casting, but this is a post-war style.

This is a very basic reproduction US taht someone converted to fit a modern belt.  OF COURSE it was listed on e-bay as original Civil War..

This is an uncommon sight.  This is a fake stamped buckle.  The Gaylord stamping as well as the hooks and the overall style are wrong.  Fake!

Not all buckles with great looking patina's are real.  Take this piece of junk for instance.  Total fake.

Here is a 100% fantasy item.  This is a Confederate "coffin tag."  This looks like a modern buckle that some idiot decided could be pawned off as a relic.  Note that the Spongebob camera was used for the back shot.  Probably to hide a makers mark.

This is a typical fake CSA buckle, complete with leather vertigris.  Hooks are easiest way to ID as a fake.

Even the liberal use of the Spongebob camera can't hide what a junker this fantasy GMI breastplate is!  See the date stamped in the back with modern letter dies?

Same seller, same poor camera skills.  More fake junk!

More of the same!  JUNK!!!

Fake Virginia two-piece.

Another fantasy Confederate buckle.

Look at this clunker!  A fantasy CSA buckle with a crappy fake stamp.

Any idea what this is?  I have no clue either but the seller was sure it was an Arkansas breastplate.  It isn't.

This faker couldn't fool a blind guy with no hands with this beauty!  Whew!

I know, I know here is the same old fantasy CS buckle again.  Sorry, but this fake comes in many forms.  This was sold without the standard lead back.

This is how a fake Texas buckle would look if you were on your first acid trip.  Another seller that thinks Spongebob photos will fool someone into buying.  If you bought this from these pictures...you deserve it.

100% fake US oval.  The outer rim is too wide, the letter style is wrong, and the hooks are awful.  The schmuck selling it is trying to hide those horrendous hooks with a blurry photo.

This is not a Civil War period Arkansas buckle.  As I have said before...beware tongues and wreath's being sold seperate.

This is a VERY fake South Carolina rectangle.  Note the poorly applied fake patina. 

Here is a fake North Carolina 2-piece.  Nice of the crook to date it for you!

If ever there was toilet paper made of brass and lead, THIS is it!!!!!!!!!!  Whew!

WOW!  Someone got the weenie on this aged-up reenactor buckle!  Look at those crap hooks.  FAKE!!!!!

This reminds me of an '80's rock song by Aldo Nova:  "IT'S JUST A FANTASY..."  This type never existed.  Look at the sloppy casting.  This is a copy of a copy of a copy...you get the picture.

Here is the famous fake Lincoln buckle!!  Supposedly designed by MRS. Lincoln after his death these fakes are randomly seen on e-bay.  Look at the crappy solder work on the loop and hooks.  J-U-N-K!!!!

This one caused many experts to cringe.  It is a very good fake, but a fake it is.  This is a very well aged Hanover Brass reproduction that the seller added the fake white paint "museum number" and an indention that many mistook for a diggers shovel mark.  This is a good example why buckle reference books and experience is a must.  If this scares you, go to www.civilwarfakes.com and join the site.  It is the best place to learn buckles there is, and you can directly ask Gary Williams, the best in the world, about what is real or fake.

This schmuckle is a real winner,  except for the lead overfill, shoe polish patination.  A fake sold by a noted e-bay crook.

Ya' just gotta' LOVE these!!!  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Someone went to A LOT of trouble to age this fantasy Confederate buckle.  Remember it from the other 4 similar fantasy buckles in previous photos?

Here is an S & S Firearms reproduction buckle being sold as real!  It is also in Repro Buckles of the Civil War, by Howard Crouch.

This buckle is to reproductions what Rosie O Donnell is to women:  A NIGHTMARE!!!

Does the schmuck selling this REALLY think that the crappy photos can obscure what a piece of junk it is??

My wife gave me this neat die-stamp set for Christmas to get me out of the trailer more.  I started out making slave tags, then I moved on to these junk buckles.  What a L-O-S-E-R!

A really good collector got burned by this, sold as a "Confederate chest plate."  REFERENCE BOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have you ever wondered what a turd would look like if it could be changed into a fake buckle?  PRESTO!

A fake CSA Atlanta Arsenal buckle on a modern belt.  What a steal!!!

This is one of those, "I don't know if its real, but I'll sell it as if I was SURE it was."  Well it IS real!  It is a REAL FAKE!!!

WOW!  What a potential windfall for some lucky collector!  A junk Texas oval, and a fantasy junk CSA IN THE SAME AUCTION!!!  Wonders never cease!  Those buckles are worth about as much as Hillary Clinton's word:  NOTHING!!!

You take a perfectly good Hanover Brass reproduction, and ruin it with a cruddy fake date-stamp like that.  Shameful...

This seller was perfectly able to photograph the buckle clearly with a tintype, but it is just AMAZING that when it comes to closeups of the buckle...especially the back...he can't seem to get focused.  Maybe because the back exposes it as the fake it is.  Hooks, lead fill...all wrong.