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Cabootle Mail

Bakelite, celluloid or lucite? A simple tip to help you assess collectible vintage plastic jewelry!

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We sell a lot of jewelry through our partnership with Slayleigh James and while hunting for those perfect pieces we are often required to test the collectible 'plastic' jewelry we come across to determine whether it is bakelite, celluloid or lucite. There are a few tests we can perform on a more professional level but we thought this tip for the casual collector might be helpful, especially for those of you that struggle to tell the difference from looks alone, which can be tough.


A good casual/simple test is to rub a finger rapidly across the surface of the jewelry generating a little friction/heat. Bakelite will smell like formaldehyde; celluloid will smell like mothballs/pinesap/vinegar (it's made with camphor); and Lucite has no smell. 

Here are a few pieces of jewelry we have listed in Cabootle's jewelry section. Can you tell which ones are celluloid, bakelite or lucite from sight alone?

Find out about this vintage multi-colored bangle here!

Learn more about this vintage necklace here!

Find out more about these vintage earrings here!

Click here to find out what this lovely vintage necklace is made of!

Research this cherry amber necklace here!

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