Using small Bakelite pieces to form larger pins shaped like jointed characters is a common motif for jewelry crafters as well. Making these pieces isn’t a problem, it’s not marking them accordingly where things get sticky.
How can you tell if jewelry is Bakelite?
To use, dampen a cotton swab with 409 and rub it gently on the inside of the item being tested. If it is Bakelite, the swab will turn yellow. If a piece is lacquered, it may test negative with 409. Black Bakelite pieces often fail this test as well.
What is the rarest color of Bakelite?
It was utilized to make all kinds of pieces including brooches, rings, bangles, necklaces, dress clips, etc. Bakelite comes in a variety of colours: black, red, yellow, green, butterscotch, apple juice, orange, etc. The rarest Bakelite colours are purple and blue.
Is Bakelite worth money?
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.
One way to identify a bakelite button is to run hot water over it and then smell it. It should have the smell of formaldehyde. Some say they smell like cod liver oil or have a sweet chemical smell. Another way is to put a bit of Simichrome metal polish or 409 All-Purpose Cleaner on a Q-tip and rub it on the button.
What colors are 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.
Why is Bakelite so collectible?
Bakelite jewelry is highly sought after. It’s bright colors and beautiful sheen have attracted several generations to its unique qualities. Values remain high and continue to rise, especially for highly carved pieces, figural shapes, pieces in red and/or green, and those that are laminated (as I mentioned above).
How can you tell Catalin from Bakelite?
Bakelite is opaque, while catalin is often translucent (can often see this at the edges of an item). If the item is brightly colored jewelry or similar items, it is more than probably catalin.
What is Bakelite jewelry made of?
Bakelite is made using a combination of phenol and formaldehyde. These and other materials are put through molds which form rods. These rods are then further polished and transformed. This process differs from plastic now because of the hand finishing.
How do you test Bakelite with baking soda?
The Baking Soda Test – Dip a cotton swab into baking soda and rub it into a test spot on the item. Ex. a bracelet on the inside, brooch on the back etc. If the cotton swab turns a yellow tone you have a positive test.
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.
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.
How can you tell if jewelry is lucite?
However, you can identify lucite in a couple of ways:
- The Look: lucite is often clear with rhinestones, glitter, metal, leather or revserse-carved designs.
- The Weight: lucite is much lighter than its counterpart, bakelite, which is one of the heaviest plastics.
What’s the difference between Lucite and Bakelite?
Bakelite should be stored carefully, although it is not as fragile as Celluloid. 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.
How can you tell real Bakelite from Amber?
Amber is lightweight, warm to the touch and sometimes has inclusions like insects, leaves and maybe even air and water bubbles. Amber is fossilized sap from extinct pine trees. It actually feels more like plastic or Lucite than rock or glass. Bakelite is very heavy.