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  1. #1

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    Hitler Youth HJ Buckles by material

    This is a thread showing the various materials used to manufacture HJ buckles. This only shows the material and does not get into any of the sub types or variations of them. I will start individual threads for each type where we can get into all the variations and oddities
    The HJ buckles were made from the following materials and a description of each follows:

    • Solid nickel

    • Aluminium

    • Nickel over brass

    • Nickel over steel

    • Painted steel

    • Zinc

    Solid Nickel

    The solid nickel are the earliest of the HJ buckles and are NON MAGNETIC.. they appear slightly yellow when placed next to a nickel over steel buckle. These buckles can be marked or unmarked, and are known to have the full range of markings on them.. they can have a staple catch (U catch ) or a footed catch on them.. when marked, they are usually marked on the under side in front of catch, but have been seen marked on inner folded flap, on prongs, on outside of folded flap, and under prong bar.. so check closely everywhere for markings..


    Aluminium Buckles

    HJ buckles were made also made from aluminum. These buckles can have amazing detail if in unworn condition. Due to the softness of aluminum, these buckles wore quickly and lose their detail to the high points. Aluminum buckles were made in 2 ways die struck and injection molded. The die struck is what is shown here.. ( you can see the buckle detail on the reverse) the injection molded variety is flat on the reverse with no detail(not shown). There are 2 different catch types known to have been made.. a bridge catch (which is shown) and a crimp catch (not shown)...
    99.9% of the time aluminum buckles are marked, and most of the time they are marked on the reverse in front of the catch, but they are known to be marked in the diamond on reverse as well. There are reproduction aluminum buckles being made in eastern europe so beware..


    Nickel over brass

    HJ buckles were also made form nickel plated brass. I dont recall at the moment if making them from brass was sanctioned, will have to look it up. Never the less , they exist. These are seldom seen , and are usually mistaken for either a nickel buckle or for a nickel over steel. Off the top of my head, there are only 2-4 different designs of these, so not many manufacturers were making them in this material. These buckles are non magnetic and are only known to have staple (U catches) . Many times these buckles are shedding their nickel plating showing the brass box within. If you have a buckle showing brass, which is NON MAGNETIC... this is the nickel over brass..


    Nickel over steel

    HJ buckles were also made out of nickel plated steel buckles. They are MAGNETIC These buckles are known to have 3 types of catches... staple catch, footed catch and crank catch. These buckles are always marked and all code system marks can be found.They are most commonly marked on reverse in front of catch but are known to be marked in diamond on reverse, on inner flap and under prong bar. It was common for the manufacturer to plate the steel buckles with copper or brass because it helped the nickel adhere better to the buckle.. regardless, some times the nickel wears off and leaves the brass or copper coating which is then mis identified as a brass buckle.. always check your buckles with a magnet.


    HJ painted steel

    HJ buckles also came in painted steel. They are always MAGNETIC. They are always marked and typically marked with the M4 code system. The marking is typically on the reverse in front of the catch, but has been seen in the diamond on reverse also. These buckles are known to have come with footed catches and crank catches. The paint color varies by maker, most are silver...but there are examples which are field green and a blueish silver... and then there is the gold HJ .. but that is a another discussion..


    HJ Zinc

    Lastly HJ buckles were made from a zinc based pot metal. These were made in two manners. Injection molding and die striking. Injection molded examples are flat on the reverse and show no detail (shown) and the die struck examples have the buckle detail on the reverse (not shown) but are much less common .. The zinc buckles were plated but most examples have absorbed the plating by now.. Examples with the plating in tact do exist but are rare. These buckles are always marked and are marked with the M4 code system. They are typically marked on reverse in front of catch....


    Last edited by Chad Williams; 20th April 2010 at 03:46 AM.

  2. #2

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    great information chad , this will be a huge help to anyone looking to buying HJ buckles
    thanks for sharing

  3. #3
    Excellent info Chad. Many thanks

  4. #4

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    great info!

    any on DJ buckles too? or does the same go for them?

  5. #5

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    Much clearer for me now

  6. #6

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    great thread chad very helpfull and nice buckles ;)

  7. #7

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    Well done and thank you for a very informative thread Chad


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