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Bakelite or not?

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This is my second post in a series about Bakelite. I had planned to write first about Bakelite jewelry styles, but a lot of you asked me about recognizing Bakelite, so I'll write about that first. (You can read my introduction to Bakelite here.)

Is it Bakelite or not?

Visually:

If you see seams in the plastic or mould markings it definitely is NOT Bakelite. In the finishing process these were removed. The surface is generally very smooth, even after wear. Even if a bangle has been treated unkindly (on flea markets I often find them in boxes thrown together with other stuff) it will usually have a smooth patina of tiny little scratches.

In case of a bigger deeper scratch (ouch!) it will show the same solid underlying colour.
White Bakelite tends to get more cream coloured over the years. So if you find a sparkly bright white vintage 'Bakelite' piece: beware, and make sure you test it by other methods.


Holding it in you hands:

Bakelite is heavier than most modern plastics, an…