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.
Is Bakelite jewelry marked?
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.
What is the rarest Colour of Bakelite?
A large strands of red Bakelite beads can fetch $4,000 or more and are among the most valuable items to collectors, likely because the cherry amber color is fairly rare and the simple design is very wearable.
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 can you tell the difference between Bakelite and celluloid?
Bakelite will emit a smell like formaldehyde when placed under hot water. Bakelite is a sturdy material and is heavier than Celluloid. Bakelite is denser and heavier than Celluloid. Hold two pieces of jewelry in your hands and compare the weight.
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.
What is Bakelite jewelry worth?
Generally, Bakelite jewelry sells for anywhere between $40 and $1,000 it all depends on the piece itself. On average, prices are frequently between $50 and $300, though older pieces (1920s to 1940s) and some bangles carry prices of $800 or more.
What is the difference between plastic and Bakelite?
Bakelite is the first synthetic plastic and is known as a “material of thousand uses” due to its versatile applications. … The key difference between Bakelite and plastic is, Bakelite is the first synthetically produced thermosetting plastic with heat resistant and non-conductivity of electricity.
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 do you identify Lucite?
If you put it under hot water, rub it vigorously or poke a hot pin into it it will have no smell. Catalin, bakelite and celluloid have chemical smells and casein smells like burnt milk. If it’s transparent or transparent with objects embedded in it (plastic pieces, flowers, coins, etc) it’s lucite.
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.
What is bakelite jewelry?
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.
Why did they stop using bakelite?
Bakelite applications in conservation were discontinued in the 1940s because of certain disadvantages that soon became apparent. The lack of records and relevant information precludes any assumption on the extent of its use and in which institutions.
How can you tell the difference between Bakelite and Catalin?
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 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 do I know if my vintage jewelry is valuable?
Use a magnifying glass to search for marks inside the piece. If it’s made from gold, platinum or silver, it will have a stamp. The material the vintage jewelry is made from can make literally thousands of dollars of difference in its value. The cut of the gems can also point to specific eras.