Value of Bakelite Jewelry Pieces. No matter what type of piece you have, genuine Bakelite jewelry is worth money. Many simple necklaces and bracelets sell for $100 or less, but more elaborate designs with multiple colors or intricate carving can sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
How can you tell if jewelry is Bakelite?
The first quick thing to look for: Bakelite will never have mold or form markings on it. If you feel a line running around the center of a bangle, it is not Bakelite. Another way of identifying Bakelite is with Simichrome polish which is a pink polish made for cleaning metals.
What is the rarest color of Bakelite?
Bakelite comes in a variety of colours: black, red, yellow, green, butterscotch, apple juice, orange, etc. The rarest Bakelite colours are purple and blue.
What is the most valuable Bakelite?
The most valuable Bakelite pieces are wide pieces with heavy, deep, and sometimes intricate carving, reverse carving and painting, or with complicated lamination. Dotted pieces are always very popular. Large figurals—pins, necklaces, etc. —have also held onto their value.
When did they stop making Bakelite jewelry?
Many companies stopped using Bakelite in the early 1940s as the need for World War II related products took hold. By the end of the War, new technologies in the world of plastics had made Bakelite obsolete. The height of Bakelite jewelry was the late 1930s, up until the end of the Art Deco period.
Is Bakelite jewelry safe to wear?
Bakelite jewelry is stable and considered as safe to wear as any other plastic jewelry; the danger in terms of chemical exposure was in the manufacturing process.
Why is Bakelite not made anymore?
There are several reasons. One half of the chemical reaction is formaldehyde, which has a bad reputation. The other half is phenol, which is a derived petrochemical, and has its own poor health record. Bakelite is a therrmo-setting material, which means that it cannot be melted down and used again.
Another great trick for determining the button material is running it under hot water, and then smelling it. When run under hot water, celluloid buttons will smell like mothballs or Vicks Vapor, bakelite buttons will smell of formaldehyde, and lucite buttons won’t have any smell.
How do you clean Bakelite jewelry?
Over a period of time, Bakelite, like all other materials, accumulates dust and dirt which takes away from its appeal. To clean it, rub the Bakelite using a dry cleaning cloth. To remove the dirt that has collected within the cracks and the grooves, scrub it using a soft bristled toothbrush.
Did Bakelite come blue?
On the Surface- Bakelite has a very distinctive shine. … Bakelite comes in various shades of red, green, black, butterscotch, cream, orange, brown, root beer (brown translucent swirl), apple juice (translucent pale yellow) and my favorite-blue or turquoise.
What color is Bakelite?
Bakelite in solid colors is the most recognizable type even without employing testing measures. The most readily found colors are yellow, ranging from butter yellow to dark butterscotch, followed by various shades of green.
What is Bakelite Jewellery?
Bakelite is a castable, fire-resistant plastic that was invented by Leo Baekeland in 1909. It was originally used for industrial purposes until jewelry makers found that its light weight made Bakelite a perfect choice for designing and manufacturing inexpensive bracelets, rings, pins, and other jewelry.
What is the difference between Bakelite and Lucite?
Bakelite jewelry develops a surface patina over time. … Lucite, an acrylic resin, was first marketed by DuPont in 1937, and it began to appear in costume jewelry around 1940. As with Bakelite, Lucite is a thermoset plastic, but it was much cheaper to produce. Lucite could be molded, cast, laminated, inlaid, and carved.
Why is Bakelite so special?
Like many modern plastics, Bakelite was lightweight and durable, and it could be molded into nearly infinite shapes, so its use quickly expanded as manufacturers realized its potential. … Bakelite made perhaps its largest stamp on the world of fashion.