Yes they can be decorated and dressed up. On one English gun by Griffin they were made of silver. During the 18th century it was fashionable for young Englishmen to take the "Grand Tour" of Europe. They would go to Venice, Rome, Paris, Madrid, etc. to complete their cultural (and carnal) education. If they were sportsmen or gun enthustiasts, they often would come home with high quality gun barrels made in Spain or Italy and have a London maker like Griffin or Twigg, mount them up in a gun. The esteem, particularly of Spanish barrels, was so high that many makers opted to install barrel lugs using bands like I made instead of brazing or soldering them to the barrel. They felt that the heat would damage the fine Spanish barrels. I was always fascinated by this and decided to try it on an English fowling gun that I am building that has a very lightweight 20 guage barrel. I never had the opportunity to see how the makers created the loop for the barrel key so I invented my own design that is very strong and works very well. It was really fun to do but a little challenging, particularly inletting the bands in the stock.