“Belt buckles are fun to engrave,” notes Jeff Loehr, master jeweler and engraver. “People bring me rodeo buckles that I’ve engraved designs onto, and I’ve even made some really cool ones out of foreign coins. Working for so long in the tourist area of Branson means I’ve made my fair share of them!
“They are work, though,” he admits. “And there are almost as many styles as there are rings. Many incorporate the western style, often with turquoise, then adding the twisted wire and the regular wire, shaping every piece with specialty pliers and welding it all into place.
“I’ve also done more modern style buckles and you can engrave those or weld designs onto them. From start to finish, they can be an engineering project!”