New Belt Buckle Maker Profile: Adezy/CDC Metalworks
Updated: May 18, 2022
Manufacturer/Artist: CDC Metalworks/Adezy
Status: Defunct. Most active in the 1970s.
Location: Colorado (Boulder and Denver)
Suspected affiliate companies: Talcon Int'l Ind, Donahue Enterprises, Ultra Entertainment Inc, Spec-Cast, PPI, Chad Mfg
Style and Themes: Designs frequently featured local Colorado cities, ski resorts, and businesses. Retail design buckles included a variety of animals, artistic hippie designs, and some novelty/gag humor.
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During the mid and late 70s, Adezy produced numerous belt buckles in Denver, Colorado in both retail and custom designs. Many of the buckles were sold as souvenir items in tourist/visitor destinations in Colorado, so many of the buckles you find today will feature the names of ski resorts and small towns in the Colorado Rockies. The buckles were usually plated with brass but some had a silver-tone finish (likely chrome or nickel). The condition will vary dramatically between pieces depending on how frequently they were worn. Even those buckles which were not used will typically have heavy discoloration from aging.
During the early 80s, Adezy produced a limited edition collector series of commemorative U.S. State belt buckles. Each one had a glossy silver-tone finish and a prominent Swarovski Crystal embedded on the face. They also made a series of buckles depicting different dog breeds, several humorous/joke designs, and a variety of artistic pieces.
My belief is that Adezy originally produced buckles under the names C.D.C. Metalworks and C.D.C. Associates Inc in the early 1970s. The earliest known buckle from this maker is this one (photographed below) which apparently promoted the original "C.D.C Associates", a group made up of chemists, spectrographers, and assayers. It is not known how this company transitioned into commercially producing belt buckles, or what the abbreviation C.D.C. represents. It's difficult to read, but the banner on the backside says "Boulder Colorado" on the lower left (Adezy buckles are frequently marked "Denver Colorado" so the company may have relocated from Boulder to Denver in the early 70s).
During the early 70s the company produced belt buckles that featured the names of Colorado cities, railroads, landmarks, and US states. The backside of these early buckles had a distinct weaved-ribbon pattern connecting the area between the loop and pin (photographed top row), and a lesser number had an arrowhead logo with a bighorn sheep ram (lower left). Most designs that I have encountered with these hallmarks were copyright dated 1975 or earlier.
One late example of a C.D.C. belt buckle (photographed lower right) used a font that closely resembles the Adezy logo with the large curl protruding from the letter "M". This is the only example I've encountered with a copyright date later than 1975.
I believe that C.D.C Metalworks underwent an major change in 1975 or 1976 and switched from using the C.D.C Metalworks name to Adezy. The similarity of design/construction of the C.D.C and Adezy belt buckles
provides evidence that the companies are one in the same. The buckles always utilized a method of plating over a base metal with distinctively shaped 1 3/4" belt loops. The subject matter and artwork are also similar between the Adezy and C.D.C belt buckles, often featuring Colorado cities, ski resorts, and wildlife.
Adezy (pronounced Ad-Easy) company was most active during the late 70s and early 80s, so most buckles you encounter will be from this period. A few buckles from 1979-1983 indicate another major transition may have occurred within the company. Several brass-plated designs—also produced in Colorado—used company names like Donahue Enterprises, Talcon International Industries Inc, Ultra Entertainment Industries Inc. (Paula Freed), and Spec-Cast.
This interesting belt buckle (photographed right) shows the re-emergence of the weaved-ribbon pattern and is marked "Spec-Cast Denver, CO". It indicates a connection between Spec-Cast and the earlier company, C.D.C. Metalworks.
A trademark search shows that Adezy was formed in 1975 and the trademark expired in 1986. Spec-Cast is still operating today and they produce die cast replica vehicles as well as belt buckles and lapel pins from Dyersville, Iowa. I've reached out to Spec-Cast to inquire about their company history but have not yet received a response. I will update this post if I learn anything new!
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About the Author:
Brock Lane is an entrepreneur with ecommerce experience and specializes in vintage accessories. He operates multiple shops on Etsy, eBay, and Shopify and maintains an inventory of over 5,000 rare and unique belt buckles, leather belts, and other goods. He leverages his sales history and professional background as an M.S. Economist to write about trends in online retail marketplaces.
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