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Origin of Concho Belts

You may have seen Concho belts in your favorite Western films and television shows. Cowboy belt buckles always seem to be so extravagant, but where did they originate? It is believed that the word “Concho” comes from the Spanish word “concha” which means “conch” or “seashell.” The term “Concho” described the oval or round silver disks that decorated horse dressings such as bridles and saddles, as well as clothing and jewelry such as bolo ties, belts, chaps, and pendants. The traditional Concho belt is often credited to the Navajo and Zuni tribes, people indigenous to the Southwestern United States. However, it is believed that the Spanish, Mexicans, and other people native to the area also influenced the Concho belt’s evolution.

The Navajo learned the art of metal working from the Mexicans, and it is believed that the first Concho belt was an adaptation of horse bridle buckles found there. As trade increased with Europeans in the Plains Territory, the Navajo began to make Conchos out of silver coins they had with them. They are credited with being the first Native Americans to produce silver jewelry in the area. Keeping in mind the tools at the time, these Conchos were truly impressive. The intricate and unique geometric and floral designs represented an incredible amount of hard work and patience to finish. Silversmiths worked on small discs, creating and often replicating designs one at a time with home-made die and a hammer.

  Today, Concho belts are still handmade today and are worn and appreciated by both men and women all over the world. Intricate Concho belts and cowboy belt buckles are still created according to traditional standards set by skilled silversmiths. Concho belts can be worn casually with jeans and are completely functional with daily activities. They also look great with leather pants, dresses, or more formal attire. Concho belts are timeless and a great addition to anyone’s waist.

If you are looking for handmade Concho belts or cowboy belt buckles that will look great without breaking the bank, Gavere Leather has you covered. We offer a great selection of Concho belts to fit your personal needs. Stars, eagles, hearts and crosses are just a few of the Concho designs we have to offer. Visit our website, today to find the perfect Concho belt to fit your style.