Tuesday, June 10, 2008
BAKELITE! VALUABLE & EXPENSIVE!
When I first began shopping on eBay, I got a shock to find out that jewelry, primarily bangles, made of bakelite sold for big dollars! Heck, the last time I heard someone mention bakelite, it was my dad, talking the handles on some frying pans we had when I was still a kid! So it floored me to see that today, not only has jewelry made of bakelite become highly collectible, but also folks are willing to pay a lot of money for it!
Take the rather lovely necklace in the photo. This sold recently on eBay for $203! It has some wear to the chrome on the silver balls but that didn't stop 7 bidders fighting for it. A combination of things made this one valuable to the vintage jewelry collector: it's Art Deco and it's made from both Catalin and Bakelite.
But one has to be careful buying bakelite: the old question looms: is it really bakelite? Reputable sellers will test it with Simichrome or using steam which causes the bakelite to give off a chemical smell, or in some cases just rubbing it till it gets warm. Be sure to ask the seller if the item you're interested in has been tested for bakelite. You can also learn more about how to differentiate bakelite from plastic in an excellent article posted on my DESIGNER VINTAGE JEWELRY SITE (Click link)
For those who aren't interested in bakelite jewelry but collect other items made from bakelite, I've just listed the fabulous Bakelite Dice Toothpick Holder shown in the photo below in my SHOP AT RUBY LANE. What an outstanding vintage piece this is. Weighing 85.4 grams of bakelite and measuring 1 3/4" X 1 3/4" X 1 3/4", it's even signed "GB Modele Depose" on the bottom. Within 24 hours of listing it, four people had put a watch on it. No surprise there. Bakelite is one valuable material. Learn more about this item by clicking on the Photo or the link above.