Belt hooks of this general form came into use during the Eastern Chou period (770-221 b.c.) and became standard by the Western Han period (206 b.c.-a.d. 9). While the use of gold, silver, and turquoise inlay to enhance the surface of bronze or iron belt fasteners was popularized during the Warring States period (475-221 b.c.), the use of glass beads and glass inlay was quite rare. Glass beads were originally a luxury item brought into China from the West by Silk Road traders. The azure-colored glass in this rare fastener, however, seems to have become a local product by the Western Han period. Beautifully crafted from precious materials, decorative items such as this reflect the secularization of the bronze industry and the dissemination of wealth that occurred during Western Han.