Those Darn Belt Buckles! (or My “Antiques Roadshow” Moment)

As any fan of “Antiques Roadshow” Click here to learn about third-party website links knows, there are two moments that we all relish. One, when someone brings an item that they purchased at a yard sale for $1.50 to find that it’s worth $10,500. The stunned looks, the shaking, the “Are you kidding me?!” — all priceless.

The other is that moment when a person finds out that great-grandma’s vase, supposedly purchased from Tiffany, was actually purchased at Woolworth’sClick here to learn about third-party website links The stunned looks, the shaking, the “Are you kidding me?!”— priceless.

Wells Fargo belt buckle — FAKE (Click for larger image in a new window)Well, just the other day I had my own “Antiques Roadshow” Moment. Since my great-grandmother never claimed to have purchased anything from Tiffany, I was not the receiver of bad news, but the giver.

A gentleman came into the museum in Old Town San Diego, proudly holding a belt buckle in his hand. He walked up to me and said quite confidently, “I have this brass buckle from Wells Fargo Express. Says ‘Made in England’ on it and has the royal seal. Can you tell me about it?”

I took a deep breath, knowing what I had to do.

I said, “Unfortunately, sir, it’s not an antique Wells Fargo belt buckle.”

You see, Wells Fargo & Co.’s Express never made nor commissioned belt bucklesClick here to learn about third-party website links Wells Fargo Bank did make belt buckles in the 1970s as gift items, but these are clearly marked as “commemorative.” Apparently someone in the UK, operating with the name “Tiffany’s of London” made tens of thousands of buckles in the late 1960s and early 1970s. For decades, hundreds of dealers have pawned them off as “authentic,” antique Wells Fargo Express belt buckles. One story has it that these buckles were worn by Wells Fargo agents.

The only problem is: There were never tens of thousands of agents.

Wells Fargo belt buckle — REAL (Click for larger image in a new window)Even today, a scan of eBay Click here to learn about third-party website links and other online auction services will produce many dealers still selling these bucklesClick here to learn about third-party website links Now to their credit, most don’t say that they are antique. However, someone without the knowledge could easily be tricked into believing that they are antiques. Sometimes the seller’s silence on the issue can be misleading.

In addition to belt buckles, you will also find brass Human Body tags online that were supposedly used by Wells Fargo Express to transport bodies for burial. While the express company may have provided this valuable service for families, they never used brass tags.

And there are many other Wells Fargo fakes out there — don’t be fooled!

Buckle with a fake legendMy gentleman guest with the buckle was not happy with my answer — in fact, he was very indignant at first. So using my best diplomatic skills, I asked him to hold on for a moment because I had something he may want to see. I retrieved a copy of the book, Company Property of Wells Fargo & Co’s. Express 1852-1918 Click here to learn about third-party website links and a copy of an article written for “American Collector” magazine Click here to learn about third-party website links, exposing the belt buckle scam.

As he perused Company Property, he looked up at me and said, “No belt buckles.”

To which I replied in my most sympathetic voice, “Right, they never made them.” After a few minutes he left with a copy of the magazine article in hand, a little deflated but a great deal better off, I think, for the knowledge.

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98 Responses to Those Darn Belt Buckles! (or My “Antiques Roadshow” Moment)

  1. Randy says:

    Okay-I have a Wells Fargo Belt Buckle. On the Front it has the Name Chico. on The Back it Says ” Reward If Returned with Belt & Attachments COD to Any WF & Co. Banking House in Cal.” Also has NTY and Tiffanys Broadway New York on It. Is This A Real Antique??

  2. Charles Riggs says:

    Hi Randy —

    Any Wells Fargo stuff with Tiffany is fake.

  3. Tom says:

    Hello Casey,

    I have a brass bely buckle and I’m trying to see if it’s fake or not – I’m not an expert on this at all. The front has a stagecoach being pulled by four horses. Across the top it says “Wells Fargo and Company”. On the bottom it says “Since 1852”

    The back has two seals, the top one says “Tiffany New york” and the bottom says “For Intrepid Action W.F&CO”

    Real or fake?

  4. Charles Riggs says:

    Hi Tom —

    Any Wells Fargo stuff with Tiffany is fake.

  5. William says:

    What would the real 1970’s commemorative WF Buckles and Stars be worth today if they are the real McCoy?
    Just curious, because I think I have some. No illusions here.

  6. Kristen says:

    Hi I bought two old Belt Buckles on last week and the person who was selling them said I walked into an old barn and I found them so she/he was selling them.

    And they are both brass and I do not have a picture of them yet on my computer yet. But when I am looking in a magnafying glass at the top of the one belt buckle it looks like there is some writing on the belt buckle but I am not sure.

    I do not plan on selling the two belt buckles but I would just like to know the values. Thank you if you might know.

    • Alan Reiner says:

      Appreciate your response. Since you indicate that a few belt buckles by Tiffany ARE original could I send you a pic for your opinion on this one, or am I mis-reading your response? If you’d give me a postal address, I’ll send you a photo.

    • art Gonzales says:

      Several years ago i purchase a belt buckle stanped on back side soild brass the image is of chief two moon bought at antique shop in Colorado maybe you can help me as two what i really have

  7. Fred Browning says:

    I too have, in the past, bought “antique” Wells Fargo buckles. In the early 1970’s my parents had Wells Fargo accounts and bought,from the bank, two authentic buckles. I still have both : copyright date 1973. They have have serial # AT53 and # AX231. I still have one box and certificates. I still wear them and the original belts that came with them.

    • Tommy Brun Olesen says:

      I would hold on to that if it was me. If anything is ever worth anything it would be that buckle w/belt that still has original box and paperwork.

  8. joewilly says:

    My brass buckle has Wells Cargo & Company on the front top and Express below a train. On the back there are 4 differant stampings. One says Wilkinson, Mass, pat. 1871. Another is the numbers 362. Then a trademark symbol saying Parade Design encircling 1877. And to the right of that is a small script saying Surveyors Department.

    As I bought it with several others signed Tiffany, I can safely assume this is also a fake?

  9. Alan Reiner says:

    OK…I’ve got one too.

    American Express Co. across the top. Wells, Butterfield & Co.on the bottom. Three horses pulling a buckboard.

    Reverse,Property of American Express Co. Rare Stones, Tiffany, Broadway, New York. Reward if returned by hand to 10 Wall Street New York or XXXX South Street Philadelphia.

    I’m missing the “commerative, Wells Fargo, or other indicia of “fakeosity”.

  10. False says:

    There are a few belt buckles by Tiffany that are original. The information is false

  11. Maria says:

    I have a belt buckle and on the back it of it: House of Worth, Paris-New York- London. Exclusive model copyright 1901 made in England, Quezel-Tiffany Studios New York. On the front of the buckle it has Lillie Langtry and on the corner right it has The Jersey Lillie. Is it worth anything

  12. deb says:

    My Tiffany belt buckle has Tiffany & Co., 221 Regent Street, London, England. It also has a name, A.J. Nash, with an X_____, all stamped into the back of the buckle. Fake? Why put a name on it?

    • JJ says:

      My Tiffany belt buckle has all that and it also says Tiffany Studio New York on the side. Have you been able to find out if yours is a fake or is real and what it might be worth?

    • Aspen says:

      My Wells Fargo Buckle also has AJ Nash with an x____ stamped on the back. It has a dog on a box and COLORADO on the front.

  13. peter says:

    I have abelt buckle on the front it says wells fargo western division sanfrancisco sacramento on the backit says Edward rose & Co chicago wf 428 can you shed some light please

    • Thomas says:

      Ok Even if it isnt real its a nice Buckle.

      My question My Authentic(fake) When I called Tffanys in New York over 40 years ago I described my Buckle,
      Around the Indian Face on the left side Sitting Bull top Chief right side OF THE Sioux. below the face at the nape of the neck F.Remington
      on the backa seal reading 221 Reagent st.London the left top of the seal A.J.Nash an arrow goes thru the top of the seal feathers bottom of the seal arrow point a indented box A.Col bellow reads A GIFT From in script W.J.Cody
      bellow in script Buffolo Bill.After describing this I was told a number of Molds had been stolen from Tiffanys when they closed thier store in England and moved thier merchandise to New York.Therfore this could be a real buckle but it could have been made after the molds were stollen.There is no mention of Wells Fargo nor have a seen another buckle with this detail in the feather headdress or on the face nor with the markings stamped on the back of the buckle. what do you think. Thomas

  14. peter says:

    I also have a buckle on the front it shows a buckle with stars around the edge in the middle it has the eagle with Wells Fargo and company on the back it has a circle of lorrel with overland contract James R Hill Harness Maker below it has June 1868 can you shed some light please

  15. partgypsy says:

    All of you posting about is your belt bucklet real please re read:

    “You see, Wells Fargo & Co.’s Express never made nor commissioned belt buckles.”

    NONE of them are authentic, other than souvenier styles made by other companies in the 70’s or 80’s.

  16. Charles Riggs says:

    Hi deb:

    The Old West means a lot to people. Things can be “made” more appealing by applying another Western personality on them: Tombstone , Dodge City , Wells Fargo.

    The goal is to make an object more desirable and get a better price. Junk becomes artifact.

    We didn’t put our name on it — someone else did

  17. Charles Riggs says:

    Dear partgypsy:

    As always, you tell it like it is! I hope everyone takes your advice and looks at the answer we already gave!

  18. BuckleGuy says:

    All of the fake “Tiffany” brass buckles are fakes. Tiffany never made any of them. As noted in the article listed above, please check the Bogus Buckles web site, as well as all of the articles mentioned above. There were two “books” printed to “document” these fake buckles but those too are fakes. Reprints of both of these books are available (both include a brief narrative on the history of these fake buckles and have also been indexed). Those books are: “Accoutrement Belt Plates: Exposed!: and “Tiffany & Gaylord Express & Exhibition Belt Plates: Exposed!” Both of these were edited by Jeff La Marca.

    Another good book is “New Buckles of the Old West” by J. Duncan Campbell but that book is long out of print and hard to find. Campbell was the gentlemen from the Smithsonian who had his work plagiarized in the first “Tiffany & Gaylord Express & Exhibition Belt Plates” which was credited to Percy Siebert. Seibert, of course, never wrote that book or any books on belt buckles.

    • Mike8623 says:

      Kind a side question. I have a old two piece buckle that has a large PC on the front kinda like the US and CSA buckles………Wondering what the “PC” stands for. The buckle is old and from my wifes grandfather who was the first Marshall of Santa Paula, California

  19. kathy says:

    I have a belt buckle with abosolutely nothing on the back…wells farg wester division on a circle of a belt on the front, with :)

  20. Jim says:

    I was a Wells Fargo Customer when they offered the belt buckels in the monthly statement. I purchased one. It came in a little cloth bag and had a serial number on the rear. I gave it to my son and dont’t have it availible now to read the number. I think I paid about $10.00 for it. I have no idea what it is worth today, it has never been worn and I’m sure it is still in the little cloth bag.

  21. Pete says:

    I have a Wells Fargo buckle on the back in the center it is stamped with a Indian head Montuak Silver Company, Fairchild &Jackson.It also is stamped Tiffany Studio New York near the loop where the belt would go through.On the front on top it say’s 1902 with a single rider carrying a rifle on horse ,in small letters Pony Express Company .On the bottom is has WELL FARGO & COMPANY an since 1852.

  22. says:

    It is real odd that these buckles are fake. I worked as a young man (1965-1968) for a Antique Dealer in Bakersfield CA and he gave me 2 Brass Buckles one was stolen by a realative and long lost now but I have one that Says “American Express Co WELLS, BUTTERFIELD & Co” on the front and on the Back it has Property of American Express Co REWARD


  23. mike says:

    what if its marked wf 717 synek n.y.c

  24. Anonymous says:

    I have a brass belt buckle with a leather belt. It reads:”American Express Co.”
    on the top and “Wells, Butterfield & Co.” on the bottom. The illustration is of a stagecoach with “American Express” written on the side of the coach. On the back on the hook part is a profile. Below on the back of the buckle is the code C-36, next to that is a crest that is raised, it is a circle with a filagree pattern.
    Is this also a counterfit?
    The leather belt looks pretty old and worn where it
    attaches to the buckle, secured by what looks like 2 snaps.

  25. ColoradoHistoryColector says:

    For those of you think that the Tifanny Wells Fargo belt buckles are real. I have several very nice solid brass ones marked with all the various marking, addresses of Tifanny. I’ll sell the collection real cheap! Fake just like a lot of Police badges out there. About the same time the buckles came out there wase the fake 1860’s Wells Fargo silver ingots. Just think an Archeologist that finds some of these things 200 years from now is going to be really bewildered. Honestly does anyone think that a repected firm like Tifanny would produce things of this quality (besides the fact that Wells Fargo never commissioned any) Further note no photo’s exist of Employees wearing such buckles and there are a few photo’s of expressmen and guards.

    • keith Russell says:

      Dear sir, I have been a collector of these buckles, since the seventies, even then the rumours were that they were fakes, but although they are fakes, i like them as objects, so I would be very interested in purchasing your collection.

      I look forward to hearing from you,
      regards keith….Perth, Australia

      • Keith B. says:

        Hi Keith, my name is Keith as well. I too have a small collection of these buckles. Not all wells fargo, tiffany, etc. I would be interested in selling. Please e-mail me if interested.

  26. Lelah Lofing says:

    I bought my brass buckle in the 1970’s. It actually says 1973 on it with the number DA169. Could you please tell me the value.

  27. Rchard D. Stover says:

    my apparently fake buckle has “TIFFANY YORK” on the back. no dates or other I.D.the belt loop is is held on with a nice flower/leaf motif. the hook is flat metal about one inch wide, folded over.
    The front depicts a 2-4=0 steam engine pulling 6 to seven cars and coal/wood tinder.Two sets of tracks. South Dakota stamped on banner across the bottom.Wells Fargo and Company in relief undulating across the top. Is it worth anything?

  28. glenn s mott sr. says:

    to whom it may concern. my brother handed me an old belt buckle the other day. on the front it says wells,fargo & cos express below this it has sutters creek california. on the back it has Wilkinson Mass pat.1871. below that it reads handford & wildman. could you tell me a little about this item. real of fake ?

  29. Andrew says:

    Here’s mine I’ve had for about 35 years now. Always wondered if more were out there and looks like there are lots of them. Didn’t see one quite like mine with all the searching I did though. Thought the least I could do was share what it looks like. Cheers!

    MODERATOR’S NOTE: Just so you know, we edited the URLs from Andrew’s comment in accordance with our Comment Guidelines. Nothing else has been changed or altered in any way!

  30. barbara j. gandy says:

    I have a rectangular buckle with Tiffany studios od New york on the back and a Indian chief with headdress on the front .I can not find out about it anywhere. it looks like brass it is old and rough textured.can you advise me.I am not a collector

  31. endkaos says:

    I knew my buckle was a ‘fake’, but I wanted it just the same. I like the ‘look’ of old things without paying the price or worrying about true collectibles. In my opinion, these are akin to reproductions of the originals and therefore, should be a valued as such.
    Much like a 1896 Henry reproduction is valued less than an original.

  32. Rae Ellison says:

    I found mine at at a estate sale. I hope i didn’t make a mistake buying this?

    Front reads:
    “Wells Fargo & Company at the top with a train in the middle; since 1852 then below ~Bankers and Forwarders

    Back reads:WilkinsonMass
    stamped Chicopee Quality #652 wf on each side
    also it has a thick leather strap and heavy brass like metal with clip and loop. Any valve here?
    I need vac money : ) thanks much!

  33. Kathleen Anthony says:

    Yes I am asking another question about Tiffany & Co.
    I never knew they were all fake. Who knew before computers were popular? What are there value? $1.00,$5.00,$10.00,$.00? Is there any style desirable?

    All the ones that say made in England also fake?
    Patent and Serial Numbers?

    I have Barnum & Baily Greatess Show ob Earth Season 1908;American ExpressCo/ Wells, Butterfield & CO;Drink Pepsi Cola;They do not have Tiffany & CO

    I can send pic

    Thank you

    I look forward to your comments.

    kathleen Anthony

  34. josiane says:

    My Tiffany Buckle belt has wells Fargo and company stamped on top….the middle has a train pulling wagons…the bottom has Missouri stamped on….the back says Tiffany, New York and next to that stamp are leaves about l” wide and about 2″ the length of buckle …Any value?

  35. John butterfield says:

    Being a Butterfield desendent, I am very interested in the Overland Stage buckles. I would appreciate any information you my give in relation to purchasing the same. I have three Wells Fargo buckles, but I think they are fake.

    • Casey Gill Casey Gill says:

      @John Butterfield – Thanks for commenting! As a fellow Butterfield Route enthusiast (see my blogs on retracing the route), I wish I could tell you there were some Overland Stage ones out there. However, as with the Wells Fargo buckles there are no “antique” Overland Mail Route (aka Butterfield Route) buckles to speak of. (Unless of course, you consider items from the 1970s to be antiques. As that would include me, I hope you don’t!)

      I did do a search on eBay for you, but the buckles I found are so bad they say, “American Express & Co.” AND “Wells, Butterfield & Co.” Sorry!

    • Tony White says:

      I also am a descendant of the Butterfields and have a buckle that was given to me by my uncle. Don’t really care if it is genuine or not as just the history of it is the value to me.

      • Casey Gill Casey Gill says:

        @Tony – You have the right attitude. Sometimes the value of an item has less to do with monetary value and more to do with the sentimental and/or historical value. Being the descendant of such an important man as John Butterfield must be a source of great pride and must give you a real sense of history. Thanks for your comment!

  36. Rod Casteel says:

    Maybe this will settle things for everyone. It’s not all “bad news.” I’m an Old West collector and historian. It pays to do the homework. I agree: there’s no evidence that Wells Fargo & Co. ever authorized the making of any buckles except those from 1973. And Tiffany’s has not (admitted) to making any of the earlier buckles of this type. Of course, how reputable is anyone when a buck is involved? Anything is possible. And your post by Thomas said Tiffany’s told him (their) “moulds were stolen”??
    I remember the buckle craze of 1972-74 and there were several companies making copies of tthese (older) buckles. One typical maker was Bergamott Buckle Co. Their buckles were pot metal and “antique” finished. The quality of the art and detailing were not remotely on a par with the earlier buckles which were made of solid brass or bronze. This was in 1970 and I owned a number of the “Tiffany” buckles for some time before the cheap copies were made. It seems to me that they could well be earlier than the 1960’s. But…does anyone know for sure? Does anyone have any real and specific facts?
    My point? The “Tiffany” buckles are quality and the art work and detailing is superb. Try casting something like this and you’ll find out that it’s not easy to produce that quality. The art work is what impresses me most. No one seems to know who made them. Whoever it was, I salute them! And I don’t care who made them or when.
    As for values, a thing is only worth something when it sells! Before that, value is only a theory. Look on Ebay’s CLOSED AUCTIONS. What they sell for is their REAL WORTH. Happy Trails, Cowboy Rod

  37. Rod Casteel says:

    P.S. Bottom line? The “Tiffany”, “Rose & Co.”, “Gaylord” and other buckles made of solid brass or bronze predate the ersatz pot-metal copies of the early 1970’s (except for the real WF&Co. commemoratives of 1973).
    The earlier buckles are outstanding pieces of art. Whoever made them, they have been with us for about a half century. They have their OWN history! And it won’t be long before they are real antiques. So it’s not all bad after all. Happy Trails,
    Cowboy Rod

    • chris webb says:

      Hi Rod,Yes the quality of the English belt buckles is superb.I have about 60 and used to have the complete catalogue showing them.They were stamped on 2000ton pressure machines for superb detail. The ones on e bay often are inferior metal.The English ones were old recycled brass and superior.Obviously someone bought the dies and has been reproducing the plated rubbish we often see.

  38. Julie says:

    I have a 1903 coca cola belt buckle with 4 nude girls on front, its brass. on the back is a tiffany & Co.stamp, a stamp with 221 regent st, london england, and the name A.J Nash with an X_____ its all stamped, can anyone tell me if this is a fake?

  39. Harry says:

    I have to agree with everything Rod had to say about the quality and detail of the fake Tiffany buckles.
    The one I have is a US centennial celebration buckle with the A.J. Nash and Tiffany mark on the back. It is inlaid with a copper medallion with the Liberty Bell on it.
    I came across it in 1973 at a flea market where someone was selling a large variety of pot metal buckles with all kinds of themes. But I was only interested in this one that looked like a real antique.
    I was wearing a Jack Daniels belt buckle that my good friend gave me. He was a Jack Daniels Distillery rep and JD had them made up and they too were pot metal, finished to look like antiqued brass. The buckle salesman said he wanted my buckle so I traded him even up for the centennial buckle.
    Even though its a fake, its beautifully made and would pass any day for a quality made antique belt buckle.
    Well a couple of years later I came across a couple of pot metal buckles that were copies of mine but smaller in scale and were updated to celebrate the bi-centennial in 1976. So I bought the copies and now have the “original” and two different copies.
    I just wanted to share, especially since I’ve not seen a picture or mention anywhere of the style buckle I have.
    Its valuable to me.

  40. Jason says:

    I have two WF buckles in brass: They have “Tiffany” “New York” on the back with the flat hook. But on the front is a dog sitting on a cash box amongst what looks like luggage. One buckle has “BLACK HILLS DAK.” and one has “NEW MEXICO” stamped in banners across the bottom of the buckle. Hadn’t seen these referenced before. Any ideas?

  41. Anonymous says:

    I have a winchester belt buckle with the inscription of W J Cody a gift from buffalo bill which bears a taffany logo. i have had this item for more than 50 yrs

  42. Geoff Bush says:

    We sold a ton of this Wells Fargo stuff in our stores in Hawaii back in the early 1970s. Mine has a JAPAN stamp on the back … barely visible. I make my own buckles so I have no doublts.

  43. Tinashe Washaya says:

    I have a brass belt of Wells Fargo Company of 1902.since 1852.Is it worth anything?It has cowboy with a gun on a horse. On the back of the horse there is Pony Express Company.

  44. Glenda Richards says:

    I want to send you a copy of my Wells Fargo belt buckle which I received while employed with Wells during the ’60s and early ’70s. On the back of the buckle is etched: “Officially Authorized and Produced by Specific Order of Wells Fargo & Company”

    Under this is a registration seal (R) and the date 1970. Each buckle was individually numbered. Mine has the number MJ29. I believe these were business development gifts. In the past I have seen prices for them but nothing extraordinary. I also received mine in a little
    drawstring bag with some info about the stagecoach.

  45. TassieAnn says:

    I have a Jack Daniel’s Sour Mash brass (?) belt buckle that mentions the St. Louis, Mo Exposition of 1904. On the back it has “Tiffany Studio, New York in a separate piece of metal that was placed there to attach the buckle loop. There is also an Indian head that says Montauk Silver Company. The bottom of that round stamp is hard to read. Engraved elsewhere on the buckle back is the number M3701. This buckle was donated to our church thrift store and I’d like to put it on Ebay. Any help would be appreciated in terms of…is this a fake?

  46. Jim Wulforst says:

    soooo, i have a brass belt buckle with Chief Sitting Bull on the front, on the back its got two Tiffany of NY stamps on it and the following engraving; A gift from W. Cody, Buffalo Bill; is this a fake too? Had it for about 30 years and while moving things around found it again. jim

  47. T.A. Gifford says:

    Do have a brass buckle that reads Wells Fargo on the front and Sutter Creek engraved on it. Back stamped Wilkonsin, Mass. Wondering what it might be worth?

  48. Deven Crabb says:

    Hi! My name is Deven, I have read all the comments about the Tiffany buckles and I know they are fake ,but I have a letter from Tiffany’s dated 1970 saying that the buckle I have is indeed made by Tiffany in mid-last century for the thousands of employees of Wells Fargo& Co. I am trying to see if the letter is real or not, by taking it to an expert.

  49. Franco says:

    hola, soy de venezuela, invesigo sobre este tema porque desde hace unon 20 años tengo conmigo una hebilla de cinturon, hecha en bonco con la inscripcin de wells fargo de 1868.

  50. bill thurman says:

    i have wf buckle that has copyright 1973 and a number that says nn325 can any one tell me about this buckle i have owned it since 1985 i bought it at a trift store

  51. Jen Rowland says:

    I have a brass buckle that readds Southwestern Stage Company with a stage picture with 6 horses and American Express Company Thanksport on the bottom. The back shows Tiffany Broadway New York with Rare Stones RTL inside a shield shaped logo. The back also shows a Kyanize Brass Polish Tin pictures with American Express recommends and an arrow stamped. Is there a value to this other than sentimental? It was purchased in the 70s in an antique shop.

  52. Rod Casteel says:

    I think everyone is missing the point here: no, these items are not Wells Fargo, not Tiffany, not Edward Rose, not E. Gaylord. So what? They are at least 50 or more years old, possibly as much as 80 years old. Perhaps the maker(s) never intended to try to fool anyone. What if they just liked the THEME of that period. If we treat it as ORIGINAL ARTWORK, it is certainly worthwhile. The artwork that went into these solid brass pre-1970’s belt plates is exceptional. The detailing is superb. It took a lot of hard work and expense to make these. Why not enjoy them for what they are? The process looks like lost wax. SOMEONE made them. No one seems to know WHO it was. I, for one, salute him (or them)!

  53. bob bakker says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I have a buckle with the portrait of president Lincoln. On the back it say: made from captured heavy artillery . And also: with kind permission of Mrs. Lincoln. Is this also a
    fake ?

    Thanking you for the trouble of answering me

    Bob Bakker in the Netherlands.

  54. Lisa Totten says:

    Hi Everyone- I have a box FULL of Belt buckles that my husbands grandfather left him. we are looking to sell and I can’t seem to find anyone in Louisville to get info on them. If anyone is interested please respond. thanks!

  55. Sheila says:

    I’m looking for some help in figuring out of a belt buckle I found when cleaning out my dad’s house has any value. The buckle apears to be brass, it says the word “peace” across the top to the oblong buckle. It pictures a farmer facing a native american with a headdress on. There is a tree on the right of them and a log cabin on the left. It appears to be really old, but I’m not sure if it could be a reproduction. There is a small stamp on the back that appears to have two BB’s but the first one is backwards and below it is either two VV’s or a W. Can anyone point me in the right direction to get an appraisal on this?

  56. Anonymous says:

    I have a Wells Fargo Belt buckle…
    I front WELLS FARCO & CO pic of a stage coach .
    on back CR144
    and on top of that there is the “Officially Authorized and Produced by Specific Order of Wells Fargo & Company”

  57. Tracy says:

    I have a offical Wells Fargo & co belt buckle 1973 with registration certificate
    front is the stage coach
    back “Officially Authorized and Produced by Specific Order of Wells Fargo & Company” CR144 is this real?

  58. chris webb says:

    I have about all of the buckles talked about on this page. The quality English made ones that is. Fake yes, but dare i say probably better quality than even the originals. Stamped from 2000ton pressure machines to exacting details. Should look like 24 karat gold when polished, not this plated poor copies that are out there now.These will only go up in value.

  59. Linda Harkins says:

    I also have a belt buckle made of brass, and marked on the back with a “half-moon” mark under the belt loop holder that reads “Tiffany Studio (singular), New York. There is scroll work around the lettering. However, my belt buckle isn’t a Wells Fargo, Civil War, known company name, etc. It has a #324 directly in the middle of the back, above the Tiffany mark. The front represents no particular industry, but has a raised camera on it, with raised scroll work surrounding it. What do you make of that? Thank you.

  60. chris brueck says:

    I have 2 wf buckeis that have stage coachs on front and on the back they say officially authorized and produced by specific order of wells fargo & company cv258 and cw219 and another with american express coat top and on bottom wells butterfield & co on the back of this one it has a small gold plate with synek studio 99 spring street wf717 synek N.Y.C. are these the real deal?

  61. John Mayer says:

    I have an original Official Wells Fargo Belt Buckle..Individually numbered and registered.Produced by specific order of Wells Fargo & Company dated 1973. I have the OWNERSHIP REGISTRATION ON IT My name on it, date certificate mailed 3/18/74,serial number of buckle CB55. I also have a copy of the order form @$9.00 plus sales tax and 50 cents for handling.. What is your opinion?

  62. Lee Picton says:

    I have a Coca-Cola solid brass belt buckle. It is rather plain and it has the writing style of the logo that started in 1941. There is a tiny R in a circle after the a in cola. It was made in Taiwan. R.O.C, a designation for Taiwan still used in 1949.
    There are three stars under the logo. In my research, I have been unable to find another like it. I think I just have a souvenir piece, but it is definitely vintage as I personally know where it has been since the 1950s. Should I just throw it out, or is it a proper Coca-Cola buckle?

  63. Chuck Espersen says:

    My Wells Fargo Belt Buckle was purchased (BY ME)from my local Wells Fargo Bank, in the San Francisco area of California. Unlike the others described here, my buckle is Solid Sterling Silver, and is so marked on the back. Specifically, it has the “Officially authorized and produced by specific order of Wells Fargo & Company” Copyright 1973, below that is a raised area with the serial number “P12” and below that is “Sterling” and last is the hallmark of a Stage Coach inside of a 3 line diamond figure. I am not affiliated with WF in any way. Please comment or return E-Mail. Thanks

  64. Chuck Espersen says:

    By the way, I may have an answer as to why all the belt buckles mentioned are BRASS and none are silver, even though I know that there were some silver ones released. If I remember correctly (and I am in my 70’s, so memory sometimes does trick me) at the same time that my banker friend at my local Wells Fargo branch told that they were releasing a limited number of SILVER buckles, just like the brass ones) the Hunt Brothers in Texas decided to corner the silver market. They bid the price of silver up and up so that quickle the bullion value of the buckles exceeded (by a lot) the selling price. My friend called me and said that I had to get my order in by THAT DAY to get the post mark because Wells Fargo was recalling all of the Silver buckles. Of course all the bank employees (and a few friends) got their order in on time, and shortly thereafter I received my buckle in the mail. I still have it, and even wear it from time to time. Again, I am sure it is authentic because of the circumstances surrounding how I got it. Thanks again, Chuck Espersen

  65. Fats-T says:

    I picked one up for $20 (down from $45, that should have been an indicator) at a local junk/antique shop. I later found out about the scam. You know many vintage stores sell belt buckles from the 60’s-70’s for about that price so it’s not a total loss. I’ve just mounted it on a belt and decided to wear it. It looks pretty cool and a lot of people comment on it! I’ll bet with all the fame of the scam they’ll be worth something in 100 years from now.

  66. stained glass window film says:

    casey. you look just like cesar milan, the dog whisperer.

  67. frosted window film says:

    ive picked up a few off ebay

  68. wayne B Higgins says:

    I own a Wells Fargo Agent 1977 Comentrative belt buckle in sterling silver by the lost wax methord SN 23.

    What is the value?

  69. Randy Sparks says:

    I’m supposing you know who produced the fake WF belt buckles, but in case you don’t, I have a name for you. He boasted of having invented the cover story of the buckles found in a warehouse in England. He also manufactured bordello tokens, and sold them as the genuine article. I had nearly purchased one of his first fakes (WF) for $200. in Los Angeles, and I finally did buy one for $6., this after the scheme became known to dealers. I asked him, “How do you sleep at night knowing that you’ve cheated so many people?” “Hey,” he replied, “I didn’t write Tiffany & Co…I wrote Tiffany, New York.” He’s the original flimflam man.
    Cheers! RS

  70. Ramona says:

    Hello All

    I went to an estate sale today and bought 3 brass Wells Fargo belt buckles that on back read. This buckle cast in solid brass by the lost wax method commemorates Wells Fargo’s 125th anniversary and is issued by specific authorization of Wells Fargo and Company copyrighted in 1977. And one silver buckle. I have the original box on one brass and one silver buckle. I also bought a leather Wells Fargo check cover. Is this real or fake? I can attach a pic if needed. The box has all the info with the Wells Fargo address in San Francisco listed. I think the guy may have worked for Wells Fargo. Thank You.

  71. Mark says:

    I have three of the fake buckles. One has a clipper ship on the front and says “Panama”. The second one has the dog sitting on a chest and says “Indian Territory”, and the third has a train and says “Montana” on it. Additionally they all say “Wells Fargo and Company”.

    For me these have sentimental value as they were my father’s and I got them after he passed away. He wore them all the time. I wear the Montana buckle about half time as we are from Montana. Plus he and both worked for Wells Fargo Armored Service at different times.

    Not worth much monetarily, but have great value to me. I will pass them down to my kids, but knowing the history of the buckles makes it great fun.

  72. Ben Rosalik says:

    I was selling belt buckles, real ”
    Civil war,” and general miltaria items, & I advertised in “Shot Gun News.” There was a British outfit that was selling “old Tiffany and other buckles at ” whole sale prices.” They also offered “authentic” Confederate belt buckles of all types, allegedly sunk when a Yankees ship sank it in the “harbor,” not sure which. Coca Cola buckles, Colorado Prison buckles, even KKK buckles. I was taken in just like you folks. Yes the quality looked good, and no internet!

    The outfit operated under the name
    F. Stokes Kirk. I may be wrong about the” F,” but the rest is what I remember. Being a military buff and an “expert” on the Civil War I knew that several Confederate blockade runners that were sunk with (allegedly) cargos intact.

    When you are a kid reading adventure stories of “lost” treasure, you can get taken in just like the blog comments I have been reading. It wasn’t till the 80 ‘ s that I figured the whole thing was a scam, but a very
    convincing one.

  73. Ben Rosalik says:

    It wasn’t Shot Gun News, it was Dixie Gun Works where I obtained them.
    My bad

  74. Nick says:

    Hi I know this thread is about real and fake wells fargo belt buckles but I have been trying to find out info on a buckle I have. I have been able to find out about the guy who made it but nothing about the buckle itself. The guy who made it is Al Shelton. It says Academy of Country Music Awards on it along with 15th anniversary and 1980. I have the paperwork for it explaining about him and how it was hand sculpted from a block of wax with home made tools and all. There were two tickets to the A.C.M. Christmas party in 1983 in the box. Dunno why they were with it. Unless it was given away as like a door prize or something haha because why would they give out a 1980 anniversary belt buckle in 1983. If anyone knows anything about this buckle i would really appreciate the info. Again I know this is about wells fargo but it seems there are some people commenting that they are collectors so maybe some help here please . Thank you.

  75. tanya moran says:

    I found one last nite in a throw out , it says TIFFANY STUDIO NEW YORK A ram head ,brass I believe, now big crap!

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