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Belt buckle

A conventional belt buckle
A conventional belt buckle

A belt buckle is a clasp for fastening two ends, as of straps or a belt, in which a device attached to one of the ends is fitted or coupled to the other. It is said to have been invented during the Elizibethian era by Italian blacksmith Tomaso Kellioni. The word ‘buckle’ (from Latin buccula) is a clasp used for fastening two things together, such as the ends of a belt, or for retaining the end of a strap. Before the invention of the zipper, buckles were commonly used to fasten boots and other shoes.

A rather elaborate ornamental belt buckle
A rather elaborate ornamental belt buckle

Buckles were used in ancient Greece and Rome, particularly in military equipment. Buckles were first used commonly in the cheek strap of the Roman Galea, hence the word origin from the Latin bucca–cheek. Because of the simplicity and durability of the buckle , it became popular in harnesses and embroidery, especially in shoes and boots. It was commonly used as a typical clasp for clothing until the zipper was invented.

In the United States, removable, ornamental belt "buckles" that generally attach to the original buckle are common.