This is a very common Choice. It is strong, cheap and can be welded. Steel is the metal of choice for fittings that are formed from wire such as our W69 buckles or W67 "D" rings. It is also used for pressed fittings such as our "017" buckles or 3916 concho. A problem with steel is that it rusts and for this reason it is always plated with another metal such as nickel.


This is another popular choice. Brass fittings are most commonly produced by casting. Brass will not rust and over time will take on a pleasing antique patina. If required, it can be polished and kept shiny by applying a lacquer.

Zinc Alloy

Die casting with zinc alloys is the method used for smart fittings. Using this process, fine detail and a very clean surface can be produced. The metal is dull however and the products are always plated.


Many fittings are given a plated finish. Not only will a plating protect the manufacturing metal but it will also give a pleasing appearance.

Nickel Plating

This is probably the most common finish of all. When a buckle is casually referred to as "silvery"it is most likely to be nickel plated (often written N/P). It is hard and durable and does not tarnish. It is applied to steel, brass and zinc alloy products.


When a fitting is referred to as "gold coloured", it is most likely to be brass plated. It is probably a second plating on top of a nickel plating. Because brass will go dull over time, it is frequently given a final lacquer finish. In this case it is described as "brassed and lacquered" (often written B/L).

Gunmetal colour

Sometimes referred to as Bronze this is a very dark grey / brown finish.

Old Brass

This finish is applied over a protective plating. It is a mid brown shiny metallic finish.