This trendy ‘Gun Metal’ (deep shiny grey colour) shoe Buckle is cast from a South African Zinc alloy and is manufactured in Taipei (Taiwan) and holds a 16mm wide strap in place. It is usually attached to a shoe upper (or leather or fabric product) by punching a hole through the leather, folding the leather onto itself on the hole-line, sliding the prong through the hole and stitching (or riveting) the folded section onto itself. This buckle is also available with a swivelling steel ‘Fish Plate’ attached. The fishplate allows attachment of the buckle directly on the upper with a rivet (or cap and rivet) through the fishplate hole.
For those of you who love the technical stuff…
Zinc is mined in Rosslyn, outside Johannesburg in South Africa, refined and mixed with various other metals to form alloys suitable for casting. Moulds are made from a special silicone (for small production runs) and from steel (or large production runs). The zinc alloy is heated up to 425° Celcius and becomes liquid. The molten zinc is poured / spun / pumped into moulds and allowed to slowly cool. The castings are removed from the moulds and the casting ends ground off and polished smooth by hand. The castings are tumbled in a gently abrasive vibratory polisher to remove any burrs and sharp edges.
The completed raw buckles are then pickled in various non-acid surface preparation solutions, electro-cleaned, rinsed and a thick layer of copper applied through an electroplating process. The copper further rounds the edges and provides an excellent corrosion resistant base for the subsequent electroplating layers. In this case the last layer is a phosphor-over-nickel finish with lacquer sealer giving a deep gloss over grey finish. The appearance is that of a highly polished and oiled gun barrel. Can complement a dark shoe upper or dress shoe.