Collars can be made out of different materials. Leather is popular; I think it's because it's cheap, easy to manipulate, and looks the most like something befitting an animal. The more committed the couple feels toward each other, the more likely they are to get a more expensive collar, in silver or gold.
Collars don't always look like collars. Sometimes it's fairly obvious: the collar is tight, a choke-hold around the sub's neck, and has a D-ring or O-ring attached, for a leash to be looped or hooked through.
But collars can be more innocuous, more private, more innocent looking to the vanilla eye: a plain necklace, maybe a gold chain, maybe a solid ring that looks heavy, but stylish and not at all kinky.
Collars can mean different things. There are training collars, play collars, protection collars...some collars are worn only for a certain amount of time, or only during certain parts of the day. I have seen collars that, once fitted around the neck, need to be cut off to be removed.
Of course, people like to label the meaning of the collar, and the problem is that different labels mean different things to different people. A protection collar does not always mean the couple is exclusive; a play collar does not always mean the wearer is anything more than a bottom (as opposed to a masochist, and if you don't know the difference, that's a subject for a different post).
Husband and I have often toyed with the idea of getting me a collar. I want one; and while he doesn't see the point of it, (I am his, collar or no collar,) he is not against the idea. The question is what kind.
I want one that will do more than just look pretty: I want it to be clear what it's there for. I want the collar itself to proclaim me as his property. I want it to be a necklace, but worn low around the neck; I want it to be feminine, delicate, and light. But I want it have written right on it, across the band, "property of."
I have not found a single jeweler that can engrave a gold or silver necklace with the engraving of my choosing, no matter how thick. I have to add a pendent, or a locket, and engrave that. But that's not what I want.
So I remain uncollared. It makes me a bit sad. I know I am his, but...I would like, on certain occasions, to declare it as a symbol on my skin, and have people around me know exactly what that symbol means. I would wear it with pride.