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What is Bakelite Jewelry?

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Bakelite jewelry is mainly a fire-resistant and castable plastic. Leo Baekeland invented Bakelite in the year of 1909. Actually, Bakelite was formerly used for industries until then that jewelry makers discover.

That it’s lightweight, making it an ideal choice for manufacturing and designing inexpensive rings, pins, pieces of jewelry, and bracelets.
Between the 1930s and the 1940s, Bakelite jewelry increasingly became famous after a range of colors was then introduced. The set of colors attracted the imagination of many jewelry companies.

In fact, Coco Chanel was one of the well-known designers that offer Bakelite accessories ad jewelry.


Bakelite is the trademark for most plastic products that are created by none other than Bakelite Corporation. However, materials that use similar formulas were ultimately sold under the trade name of the US and other countries.


Lucite and celluloid are the other plastics utilized in making jewelry. They mainly resemble Bakelite; however, Bakelite items with the same size are relatively more substantial.


In determining if the jewelry is real Bakelite, the first method to consider is the so-called 409 Test.

In doing it, there is a need to rinse the cotton swab in a 409 cleaner. The area or the back portion of the piece must be touched that will not become visible when put on. Afterward, if the jewelry is vintage Bakelite, the patina will be seen as a yellow stain in the cotton swab. Then, the cleaner must be rinsed off after testing it right away.

The second method to consider that is recommended by most collectors is to soak the jewelry on hot water. Next, it must be removed and sniffed that warmed Bakelite even smells just like camphor.

Regarding Bakelite imitations, there are manufactured imitations to find. Thus, there is a need to be completely aware of them. Some people produce fake Bakelite that upon closer examination. They do not look like real Bakelite.

They are sometimes treated in the same way, such as Bakelite tests, like hot water and 409. It is recommended to purchase Bakelite jewelry from only experienced and reputable dealers.

At times, Bakelite jewelry can be old and new. Other jewelry makers create unique jewelry from larger pieces of classic Bakelite, like radios. They are mainly famous for the period of Bakelite’s heyday.

Other parts are reasonably attractive, and many craftspeople are utterly honest in its origins. It is better to rely on most Bakelite books. These books can surely help in learning more and understanding more about Bakelite jewelry.

Regarding the worth or value of Bakelite jewelry, it solely depends or varies on the piece. At present, there is a relatively higher demand among women for the most specific collectibles. There are reputable websites that may provide you with the idea of the present pricing.

More so, it is best to read more about the descriptions to see the fakes and the real Bakelite jewelry. Never be afraid of asking the seller and verifying if the piece is genuine Bakelite. It is better to always ensure the feedbacks and ratings of the Bakelite jewelry before engaging in bidding!

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