Becoming a Collector of Vintage Bakelite Jewelry My mother and I have always loved Vintage Bakelite Jewelry. Her passion for Vintage Bakelite Jewelry was successfully turned into a business over 20 years ago and we are a mother-daughter partnership.
one’s search for that first piece of Vintage Bakelite jewelry. As with all vintage and collectible jewelry, time creates scarcity. There is much to choose from, and it can be found in bricks and mortar shops, antiques shows, flea markets and of course the ever popular internet. There are many Bakelite “imposters” being sold, so one needs to be prudent when shopping for Vintage Bakelite. While “copying” is the best form of flattery, we are dismayed that there is a “cottage industry” that has been created with the production of “fakelite,” jewelry that is manufactured in different parts of the world, giving the appearance of being Vintage Bakelite. It is our recommendation that probably the best item to start collecting Vintage Bakelite is with the Bakelite bangle. These run the gamut from highly carved and wide to thinner, non-carved spacer bangles. The highly carved Bakelite bangles tend of course, to be higher in price. While they are truly spectacular and striking with exquisitely crafted workmanship, this may not be the place to start if you are shopping within a “Bakelite budget.” One can always upgrade. Because the colors of Vintage Bakelite are like a box of Crayola crayons (most having oxidized over the years to darker tones), wearing several thinner spacer bangles can be just as striking, less costly and effective for the beginner collector as wearing a wide deeply carved and chunky Bakelite bangle. These will cost you less and you will still be the proud owner of Vintage Bakelite bangles. As time and budget permits, one can always purchase a wider carved bangle, wearing the spacer bangles on either side for yet a different vintage fashion look. When you have decided that you want to start the Bakelite jewelry “hunt,” one must be armed with knowledge and be assertive and ask questions of the dealer(s) you are considering making a purchase from. Ask this individual if the item has been positively “tested” for Bakelite and what test had they utilized. Authentic vintage Bakelite when run under very hot water will yield a strong smell and most pieces, when rubbed with 409 household cleaner or Simichrome polish, will turn a q-tip yellowish. Additionally, Vintage Bakelite jewelry will have no seams, so check the inside of the bangle carefully for this. We always utilize these testing methods to ascertain that we are selling an authentic Vintage piece of Bakelite jewelry. We are also aware that the fake items being presented in the marketplace, have been “treated” in such as way that they may pass the “Bakelite test” As one continues to collect the “real” thing, practice will make perfect. If one is searching for and collecting vintage Bakelite, be wary of these “Fakelite” reproductions that are in the market today and we recommend that true authentic vintage Bakelite be purchased only from a reputable, experienced dealer, hopefully when you visit Evelynne’s Oldies But Goodies. We pride ourselves in only presenting to you authentic Vintage Bakelite jewelry and always continue the