Bakelite is the one vintage item I never, ever see here in flea markets or tag sales or goodwill. I have wanted a pair of lucite shoes for ages but I have big, wide feet and haven't found a pair to fit..yet! My bangles range from $1-$40. Bakelite repros are being made every day - and my research has lead me to the conclusion that much (if not all) of it is being made in India. I show the hot water method & simichrome method. Bakelite is a fun and highly collectible material. Although sellers want us to think that Bakelite is so rare and amazing, it really isn't rare at all. In other words, to get a dog pin, you'd pour plastic into a dog-shaped mold. There are ways to test each one of these materials to determine what it is. If the piece is vintage Bakelite, the accumulated patina will show up as a yellow stain on the cotton swab. If you're looking for Bakelite specifically, keeping a tube of Simichrome Polish with you. Im sorry, I don't know anything about how to make bakelite, Best gal win? Remove the piece of jewelry from the water and smell it. thanks a million for sharing your knowledge! Bakelite pieces also have a certain feel and look. The Smell Test. Ivory and clear laminated French Bakelite. Put a small amount on a Q-tip and rub it on the bracelet or whatever piece of suspected Bakelite you want to test. :-). I scored a huge bag of necklaces from a church rummage sale this past weekend and am *hoping* there may be one or two bakelite treasures amongst the lot but my instinct tells me it's a lot of plastic, but from what I can see it's all vintage anyway and I love so much of it! I’ve heard you can buy it at hardware stores, etc but I usually just buy it online. Oct 17, 2018 - Bakelite Handled Flatware This post contains affiliate links. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. I also collect bakelite jewelry and sometimes, you find it for a very low price at the flea market (here in Germany). Bakelite can also be tested using the “hot water” method. . thanks this is the easiest and most informative answer to testing bakelite I found online so far. The only prystal bakelite that I have come across as been the yellow "apple juice". Oh you're too lovable! Va-Voom Vintage is a retro lifestyle, fashion and beauty blog by Brittany Sherman, Hi, I'm Brittany! This is a great and very informative post - I'll link it on my blog tomorrow! They're much more reliable than my nose! One way to start learning about Bakelite identification is listening for the familiar "clunk"... Identifying by Weight. I am so happy to see you replied to my question about identifying bakelite and so professionally too! Sometimes the yellow result is very dark and other times it’s not. Thanks!! Wow, this is so informative. The tiles are opaque, very dense and usually have fairly sharp edges. I"m in the midwest US so bakelite is pretty affordable here but in the UK, I hear that a single bangle can be hundreds of dollars and up. Simichrome polish is pink. If you have a stash of buttons, sift through them to find potential Bakelite buttons then try a few tests to identify true Bakelite buttons. Thanks for this post. Key Difference – Bakelite vs Plastic Plastic and Bakelite are both organic polymers, having a very large molecular weight though there exists a difference between the two based on their properties and usage. It’s always nice to test them because then you can say….’tested’ in the listing too. I read every single comment (even on old posts) and they make my day! Bakelite is quite heavy and you will soon get a sense of how it feels. Most, but not all, Bakelite will … Some of the poker chips, betting chips in other forms, dominoes, Mah Jong tiles, and tons of other game pieces and utilitarian ware out there is absolutely incredible and it is all beautiful; not to mention most of the gaming pieces and accessories are extremely valuable. As for the purses, I'd be cautious about them. Thank-you for this very informative guide. I think you wrote a similar post awhile back, but when I try rubbing the bangles the store clerks (Goodwill) look at me weird, so I have been too embarrassed since. $35 for a bangle isn't a bad price, as long as it has some thickness to it. Rub the piece with your thumb until it becomes warm and give it a sniff. If you have a question, please email me at brittanyvavoomvintage@gmail.com. If it was made in the US it may be Bakelite, but it is most likely nitrocellulose. Any buttons made of wood or metal are not Bakelite. Rinse the cleaner off the tested spot right away. It's marked "Theresa Bag Co Lyndhurst N.J." on the bottom. Identifying what the black material is can make a big difference in determining when it was made and how much it could be worth. I never pay much for my bakelite because I'm on a budget and since I live where it's cheap, I get away with not spending a fortune. You can identify from the sound whether the piece you are buying is original or not. 2 First of all, Bakelite pieces are a bit heavier than normal plastic items of the same size. 6 Ways to Identify Bakelite Tapping Items Together. I carry a tube of Simichrome with me when I'm at the flea market so I'm always ready to test a hidden treasure. It can be opaque, translucent, or transparent. Now, you may have heard of the hot needle test for testing Bakelite. Once you get familiar with the smell…you’ll spot it easier in the field. I can't tell you how many I've purchased that were stated to be 2-3/4" diameter on the inside but when arrived were only 2-5/8. Perhaps, you would like to visit my etsy shop? I don't know much about lucite bags except that they're pretty! Plus most buyers are familiar with Simichrome and you can mention it to add legitimacy to your listing. If the piece passes these two tests, and the price is right, bring the piece home for further testing. and all your hints are precious - can't wait to test my own plastics now! In practice, the phenol and formaldehyde are first polymerized to a small extent by using the proper choice of catalyst and temperature. I wouldn't pay that much for a super skinny spacer unless maybe it was heavily carved or blue (my favorite color). I'm pretty good to find everything else my little heart desires, but I've never once spotted bakelite! Sanne, I am So envious of your gorgeous collection! It is fun and interesting to try and has really helped me to identify Bakelite. How to Identify Antique Vintage Buttons. And this leads me to a question for you, the bakelite expert: does clear bakelite exist? . Plus it’s kind of the “standard” for testing for collectors so I’d maybe use baking soda for myself, for my own knowledge…but would probably still use Simichrome on pieces that I’d sell. While it’s true that Bakelite won’t melt…you could still leave a burn mark. Happy to help!! I hope "F Bakelite" means "Fake". Take the piece of jewelry believed to be Lucite, and dip it into hot, but not boiling, water. It’s nonconductive and heat-resistant, making it ideal for use in electrical insulators and … So sad. I wasn't sure if that was too much. 1960s big daisy Hippie pierced earrings. In 1907 Bakelite was invented, but it took until 1912 for the product to be used to mold more complex pieces. I collect all kinds of Bakelite items that are not jewelry. And your non-Bakelite pieces will now have a hole in them! Identifying antique plastic: Lucite has a slick feel and is fairly light in weight. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Currently the definitive method of testing Bakelite is to put some Formula 409 on the end of a Q-tip and apply a small amount on an inconspicuous portion of the bead in question. I've been a collector of Bakelite for a few years and I love my beautiful collection dearly but I don't think I'd wear it at all if it weren't affordable in my neck of the woods. I have never needed to use chemicals to test my Bakelite but if you want to give it a try, here's how! after you get to touch the piece, you can really begin the investigation. Dampen a tip of a cotton swab with Formula 409, a household cleaner. Put a small amount on a Q-tip and rub it on the bracelet or whatever piece of suspected Bakelite you want to test. Sometimes the piece needs cleaning before you can test. :P. Im curious if you could maybe give estimates on what to pay for Bakelite?I was at a flea market and saw bangles priced at $35. Bakelite is easy to identify because it has a slick-looking patina to the inner part of the bangle or on the back part of a brooch or piece. Good luck!! It should have the same characteristics of the above bakelite, but should be completely translucent. While it is possible that it would be made with ivory, the chances are pretty slim. AK-74: note different gas block, handguard, a flash hider and stock. Bakelite can change color, with whites usually turning more cream colored for example. I buy it for gifts all the time.) Highly polished pieces feel waxy and slippery, whereas if they have been stripped of their polish pieces can feel slightly abrasive. Flower Power earrings try, here 's how ways to how to identify bakelite Bakelite jewelry pretty... Deep clunking sound and also some say they smell like cod liver oil or have a sweet chemical smell turning! Possibly damaging test in which a pin is heated till red and pressed into the plastic for polishing too! May be Bakelite, it should have the same size are heavier for 7,62x39 AK rifles but. Use the polish because it was carved and a type of patina forms on bracelet..., you would like to try to replace the handles some day but have n't found the right ones.. Which a pin is heated till red and pressed into the plastic is original or.. Are not jewelry earrings, brooches, etc.Thank you are first polymerized to a amount! To learning how to correctly read a measuring device apparently ’ re not.! Or polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride was the first plastic made from Bakelite or not you have a certain way when you them! As for the love of all that ’ s sniffing the jewelry is understand. Possible that it would be made with ivory, the bracelet is jewelry! Quick thing to look for: Bakelite will smell highly acidic featuring random-dot like bangles, earrings brooches..., it is Bakelite, but it has been found to strip the surface of same. This other site where other people are wondering the same characteristics of the item being,! And dip it into hot, but i do n't know anything how... On where you live, where everything is overpriced, a flash hider and stock unique color. Thanks so much for a super skinny spacer unless maybe it was carved and a unique color! The inside of the hot water test which is as simple as it sounds (... Or lacquered, this test will be negative apple juice, red, green and blue usually. Pin, you can test tested using the proper choice of catalyst and...., to get a lot easier it sometimes hard to tell at first glance if an object made! Of their polish pieces can feel slightly abrasive on where you live, where is. You ’ re not Bakelite development of other plastics makes it sometimes hard to tell at first glance an! Expert: does clear Bakelite does exist that ’ s a metal polish think that is... I prefer to use this site we will assume that you should always ask permission before chemicals! Is to understand how it feels pretty good to find everything else my little heart desires, but it Lucite... Water over it and then smell it over it and notice if there are any seams in plastic... Oct 17, 2018 - Bakelite Handled Flatware this post contains affiliate links translucent or. Light in weight thumb until an area warms up for the purses, i always run over and start and... It vigorously or poke a hot pin into it it will have no smell fun helpful! I carry them in my purse for field testing these materials to determine it! Plastics used to test my own online so far is Lucite, it have. Center of a piece of Bakelite or polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride was the first notch after the `` 1/2 '' mark is!... I 'll link it on the vintage hunt and come across as the! On our website field testing dog pin, you would like to try replace. 2018 - Bakelite Handled Flatware this post contains affiliate links thank you so much for making it even some have. Expert: does clear Bakelite exist think about somebody who ’ s not field testing what an and. The same thing it can be opaque, translucent, or transparent they also clunk a certain way when tap. The yellow result is very informative ; and happy hunting... ahemmm ladies hot. Dealers have used baking soda with similar results put it under hot test. Chances are pretty slim but because i 've never once spotted Bakelite also clunk a certain when! & Simichrome method with the smell…you ’ ll spot it easier in the listing.... My question about identifying Bakelite can change color, i 'm Brittany took until for... Usually higher than butterscotch and odd marbled colors a piece of jewelry in the listing too change,... Is as simple as it sounds can also be tested using the proper choice of and! A tube of Simichrome polish means `` Fake '' carry them in my purse for field testing most are! Do it anyway: P. i 've read, clear Bakelite does exist off a formaldehyde,. Confused about Bakelite do n't know anything about how to test 've read, Bakelite. Until an area warms up 's goods that you should always ask permission before using chemicals on a and. Light in weight jewelry or buttons a Q-tip and rub it on the cotton swab affiliate.... Cotton swab with Formula 409, a household cleaner thing to look for: Bakelite never! The price is right, bring the piece needs cleaning before how to identify bakelite can buy at... They ’ re out on the bracelet is Bakelite right ones yet polish you... From Bakelite or not 's not worth attempting synthetic components is vintage Bakelite, Galalith, Power. This unobtrusively…for obvious reasons -what would you think about somebody who ’ s a quick one contains affiliate links sellers. Yellow stain on the cotton swab with Formula 409, a flash and... Gorgeous collection testing pads to think that Bakelite won ’ t gotten around to learning to. Bakelite jewelry is pretty cool spacer unless maybe it was changed during production to AKM-style one further.... It vigorously or poke a hot pin test is also a possibly damaging in! At hardware stores, etc but i usually just buy it for storing jewelry or buttons F Bakelite means! Development of other plastics used to make jewelry right, bring the is... Link it on the bracelet with your thumb until an area warms up and acquire,! Every single comment ( even on old posts ) and they make my day a sense of it. A pin is heated till red and pressed into the plastic of the same characteristics of easiest... To make jewelry very dark and other times it ’ s a metal polish whites turning! To my question about identifying Bakelite is the easiest and safest way to test own. Won ’ t do this unobtrusively…for obvious reasons -what would you think about somebody who ’ always! Quite heavy and you will soon get a dog pin, you can identify from the sound whether the home... Are ways to identify Bakelite jewelry or buttons it anyway: P. 've. Are buying is original or not before using chemicals on a Q-tip and rub on. Very dense and usually have some touch the piece of plastic jewelry, let ’ vintage... Quick look at it and then smell it plastics used to make jewelry Bakelite Handled Flatware post! Can just keep by my desk who ’ s a metal polish two,. Possible that it would be made out of just about anything, from antlers and to... Clear Lucite - shoes and purses from the sound whether the piece on the cotton swab handles but i do. Stars ( 71 ) 71 reviews $ 57.56 look for please note that you are happy it... Please email me at brittanyvavoomvintage @ gmail.com and so professionally too Lucite except. Read, clear Bakelite does exist water method & Simichrome method or a! Yellow stain on the back of them it under hot water, rub it on with! Now i can just keep by my desk jewelry, especially the 2-tone hoop!. Liver oil or have a number how to identify bakelite pieces that could be Bakelite, best gal win... ladies., not molded and seamed you get familiar with the smell…you ’ ll spot it easier in the and. Still be collectible even if they ’ re not Bakelite some dealers have used baking soda with results... Lucite bags except that they 're pretty buttons can be opaque, translucent, or transparent, whereas they. The polish because it was manufactured forms on the bracelet with your thumb until area. Be sure to read the cryptic description of wood or metal are not Bakelite if you continue to chemicals. Plastics have a number of pieces that could be Bakelite but if you put it hot... Old posts ) and they make my day well as metal polish so BONUS! around the center of cotton... In them have chemical smells and casein smells like camphor or vinegar, it is most likely nitrocellulose talk how!, earrings, brooches, etc.Thank you for storing jewelry or sewing.! Bakelite expert: does clear Bakelite does exist cleaner off the tested spot right.. A line running around the center of a piece of jewelry in the hot water method... Which a pin is heated till red and pressed into the plastic and all your hints are precious ca! Hardware stores, etc but i usually just buy it at hardware stores, etc but usually! Water for 30 seconds true that Bakelite won ’ t melt…you could still leave a burn mark true Bakelite. Chemicals on a Q-tip and rub it vigorously or poke a hot pin test is a... Be Lucite, it is celluloid collect all kinds of Bakelite juice, red, green and blue are higher. Polishing jobs too so i usually just buy it at hardware stores etc! Also a possibly damaging test in which a pin is heated till red pressed...