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Vintage Necklace - Bakelite???

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    Posted 8 years ago

    (1225 items)

    I have never come across a piece of Bakelite jewelry before and I am really not sure at all if this one could be made of this material. It looks vintage to me: the natural fiber string, the clasp, the style...

    I know there are some tests that can help determine the material but I have not tried yet. What do the experts here at CW think?

    Thanks for looking:)

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    1. DrFluffy DrFluffy, 8 years ago
      I usually test mine with a Q-tip and 409 cleaning solution. The reaction is very immediate... I then clean the area that was tasted very quickly and very thoroughly.
    2. DrFluffy DrFluffy, 8 years ago
      If the beads are bakelite, the Qtip turns yellow very fast.
      Gorgeous necklace... I love it.
    3. valentino97 valentino97, 8 years ago
      I have never used 409 but I've heard that works so I agree w/Nadia. I rub the beads - they will have a chemical smell. I'm leary of any beading thread that is pure white. If the beads are 50 years old or more the thread wouldn't be white unless it's been restrung which isn't bad, just another thing to look at when determining if your item is old or has been restrung.
    4. freiheit freiheit, 8 years ago
      Thanks, ladies! I will try the rubbing test first. I don't know how it is supposed to smell but I guess if it doesn't smell I know it isn't what I hope it is:)
    5. freiheit freiheit, 8 years ago
      Thanks, JayHow, I'll try it when I get home. I am reasonably positive because it comes from an old lady, but you never know. By the way, the last photo is supposed to be the plastic screw - it's not string. I was amazed that this screw is still in one piece and fully functional.
      Also many thanks, bratjjd and vertaio50:)
    6. Newtimes Newtimes, 8 years ago
      Freiheit, you can still find some necklaces with the original screw, but they are getting scarse.
      I just found a georgeous cherry colored bakelite necklace in a small antique shop in the back of a cabinet. When I asked the price, the man who was watching over the shop called the shop owner to know the price. And guess what, he didn't want to sell it!!! I hate it! I m going back over there tomorrow after work.
    7. freiheit freiheit, 8 years ago
      Newtimes, I hope you will get it the second time around. I heard that the cherry coloured once are more desirable.
      I saw the two necklaces at a bake sale at a retirement home. They sold some other stuff too to raise funds for the place. If I would have been sure that they are the real thing, I would have given them more for it.
      I have never been to a place like this one before and I am not sure if I will ever go to one again (well, not on my free will) . Anyway, I hope there is a good chance I got the real stuff.
    8. freiheit freiheit, 8 years ago
      Thanks a lot, lisa and Manikin:)
    9. Newtimes Newtimes, 8 years ago
      LOL, good luck freiheit , I hope you will not end up in a retirement home. I guess thats why I spoil my kids :-) Not sure if thats the right strategy.
    10. freiheit freiheit, 8 years ago
      Thanks, Newtimes, I need some luck. I was kidding around one day and my youngest one told me not to worry, she would let me live with her. I hope she doesn't change her mind - she is turning 15 in a few days and a lot can happen! I guess I better get rid of all the junk I have been collecting before I need to take her up on her offer:)
    11. Newtimes Newtimes, 8 years ago
      My mom has the same problem. I m her only child, and she could live with us when she gets older, but she has a ton of stuff! It will never fit in our house. And she keeps collecting. So thats why I changed from china to jewelry. Takes up less space ;-)
      Good night!
    12. Zowie Zowie, 8 years ago
      Wdayell that little bit of reading gave me some hints thank you one & all enjoy your
    13. freiheit freiheit, 8 years ago
      Newtimes, that's exactly what my husband says. I have some nice pieces of porcelain, but they are taking so much space! He says I should rather focus collecting jewelry because one can put so much in a box or drawer. But here where I live it is really hard to find quality jewelry for a reasonable price. Some of my pieces are from a consignment store in Naples, Florida. I wish I would have bought more there last summer because the prices there were a fraction of what I have to pay here.

      By the way, I did the testing of the two necklaces. I tried the rubbing first and there was a very light smell, but since I wasn't sure what to look (or smell) for and I was afraid to brake the string, I decided to try something else. I compared the weight to plastic and I think the necklaces were a bit heavier than the plastic - but not by much. I also checked the sound. Once again, because I am not sure what to look for, I thought that they sounded different, but I still was not convinced. Finally, I tried a metal polish and it worked! Hurrah!!!
    14. freiheit freiheit, 8 years ago
      Zowie, thank you!
    15. valentino97 valentino97, 8 years ago
      FYI usually if a bead necklace has the bead screw closure - it's old. The metal barrel screw closure - probably a replacement. Yes old bakelite beads weigh more than other plastics. You might also want to go on ebay and see some similar items. I love the yellow one - I don't have either of these. You did well...
    16. freiheit freiheit, 8 years ago
      Thanks a lot, valentino97! I read so much about Bakelite and these two seem to be my first two pieces. Funny, though, how times have changed: When I was a kid, the word "Bakelite" was a synonym for cheep, disposable items.
    17. Zowie Zowie, 8 years ago
      First of all what does the polish do secondly I have learnt that Bakelite is heavier & if rubbed it has a smell or ordor about it so I must of picked something up. To me Bakelite was always telephones.
    18. freiheit freiheit, 8 years ago
      Zowie, the metal polish left a yellow residue on my white cotton cloth. The strange thing is that the yellow was actually a slightly different yellow than the necklaces.
    19. Newtimes Newtimes, 8 years ago
      Freiheit, every color bakelite leaves a yellow residue (with simichrome). Even black, green or red bakelite. The hue of the yellow has everything to do with the additives of the bakelite. (They added strange things to bakelite to get different colors, electrical resistance...). So you can have very bright yellow residue or very faint yellow, it doesn't matter, if yellow its bakelite. Oh one exeption is black...They say it can give no yellow residue and still be bakelite, but I dont believe that.
    20. freiheit freiheit, 8 years ago
      Newtimes, thanks a lot! When I saw it for the first time, I was amazed (I felt like a child in chemistry class). I am so happy to get so much information here on this site. I have a few books at home and sometimes I search the net, but to get the right answers is cumbersome.
    21. Zowie Zowie, 8 years ago
      Thanks for that bit of information I was looking at the one before in Email & deceided to print it out will always come in handy. I was looking at a bangle the other day all designed floral quite pretty really & just wasn't sure I try to be descrite while in the shop especially when it hasn't a price written on it. I have to sort all sorts of jewelry out at the moment. Have a great day.

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