Bakelite - named after its chemist creator, Leo Baekeland - was an early plastic used as a cheaper alternative to crystal and metal in depression-era jewellery.
Due to the limited range of dyes available at the time, Bakelite's colours tend to be deeper and richer than those of modern plastics - vintage pieces usually come in shades of green, brown, black, mustard and red. The material is very resilient and polishes to a high shine. Also when worn together there is the special distinctive 'clunk' that only Bakelite has...
Since Bakelite was easy to manipulate and set hard, jewellers let their imaginations run wild and created wearable works of art. Pictured below are a pair of cheerful 'thumbs up' brooches.
Today these innovative wonders are highly sought-after by collectors and jewellery fans. You can view some of the most beautiful examples of modern and vintage Bakelite on my Pinterest board.
Here are also some of my own pieces from my latest addiction....Bakelite!!