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Dating lucite jewelry

The words celluloid, bakelite and lucite have become so generalized that instead of referring to a specific material, often only a general group is meant.

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Can be pretty much any color, including transparent or black (though sometimes black paint was applied).These generalized terms came into the language because at one time those manfacturers were the first and/or the most recognizable makers of a product.And so it was with Celluloid, Bakelite and Lucite …This meant that everyone could own expensive looking items for much, much less!I’m lucky enough to have some of the ‘French ivory’ vanity pieces (thanks Mom), however I don’t have any photos just yet.It can occur in pretty much any color imaginable, from solid and dense to translucent or transparent.

It was formed into sheets of various thicknesses, rods, and blocks.

The word “plastic” derives from the Greek plastikos meaning something that is malleable or soft.

Thus a thermoplastic is a substance that can and will become soft and malleable again (or damaged) via the application of heat.

Vintage jewelry made of (or with) plastic falls into one of six groups: celluloid, casein, cellulose acetate, phenolics which include Bakelite, and acrylics which include Lucite.

You’ll notice that I’ve only capitalized two of those names and there’s a reason for that.

It is a thermoplastic which has very little heat resistance; pieces will be damaged by the use of a ‘hot point’ test and sometimes even by contact with very hot tap water.