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Three vintage necklaces - not glass, but what?

In Costume Jewelry > Costume Necklaces > Show & Tell.
Costume Necklaces359 of 981Beautiful 1950s Multi Strand Bead Necklace Vintage Glass Necklace (in need of some TLC)
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    Posted 6 years ago

    pebble
    (31 items)

    I have these three old necklaces and I can't figure out what they're made of. They're not glass, they're warmer than that so they must be some kind of plastic. I had thought Bakelite but I can't smell formaldehyde when I rub them with hot water. They are fairly heavy and make a nice noise. The black one and red one are pressed or moulded beads, with tiny pits in the surface of some of them that may have been formed by bubbles during moulding? Details of each one below!

    The oldest one is probably the red one. It's stung on a chain and I'm pretty sure is 1920s or 30s in keeping with some other glass and gemstone ones I have that are also on chains. This one measures 16" and weighs 32g.

    The yellow one is always what my grandma called her amber ne. It was originally hand knotted and I don't recall it having a clasp but my mum has had it restrung onto nylon with a new spring ring. This one measures 25" and weighs 64g.

    The black one I think is more recent, I'd guess 1950s. There are a couple of scrapes on one bead which suggests that they might be a different colour with a black coating on them. This one measures 26" and weighs 62g.

    Any ideas as to what they might be?

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    Comments

    1. pebble pebble, 6 years ago
      Thanks Efesgirl and lentilka11 for the love!
    2. pebble pebble, 6 years ago
      Hi Valentino, thanks for your lovely comments!
      I had never actually considered that the red ones might be amber, but I am pretty new to all of this! Looking at them closely, they do look carved rather than moulded - some are almost round rather than having facets on them, and each bead is quite different to the next one. Some of them are less faceted than the rest. Bakelite can be carved too though, can't it? I've been wearing this one for years and just realised that it badly needs a clean!
      The yellow one I'm sure are moulded beads. I hadn't thought of Lucite as I'd thought it was older than that but it is possible.
      I thought the black one was glass when I first found it, I think it's heavy enough.
      Whatever they are, I do love them all!
    3. Efesgirl Efesgirl, 6 years ago
      I love the older jewelry, too. There's a quality in these that's not found in the junk made today.
    4. pebble pebble, 6 years ago
      I have to agree Efesgirl, I love the weight of older pieces now and the sound they make.
    5. lentilka11, 6 years ago
      Love them! Especially the read and yellow one! I hope you find out its amber :)
    6. pebble pebble, 6 years ago
      Thanks lentilka11! I'm pretty sure the yellow one is a man-made substance so I'm leaning towards bakelite.

      I've been giving the red one a gentle clean, and it's really noticeable that there's no uniformity to the facets whatsoever. some beads are almost round and hardly faceted, definitely hand cut. Some are a brighter red, and some darker. I was wondering, could they be garnets?

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