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Vintage Bakelite Jewelry

Durable and colorful, Bakelite jewelry defined an era of fashion forward jewelry accessories. Arguably most memorable are the remarkable range of Bakelite bracelets, which stormed the market in the early years of the 20th century, and, thanks to their longevity, still can appear today as shiny as the day they were made.

Patented in 1907, Bakelite revolutionized the field of plastic products. It was lightweight and yet one of the most heat-resistant moldable plastics, so it proved usable in an incredibly wide range of products, from automotive parts to board games. By the 1920s Bakelite had entered the field of jewelry design, with its iconic luminescent bracelets proving an overnight success.

Vintage Bakelite bangles are arguably a most treasured find among jewelry fans. As with many vintage items, popular Bakelite colors, such as white and green, have faded or changed in tone over time. So some color variation is to be expected among these vintage finds.


Quick Facts

  • The inventor behind Bakelite was a Belgian scientist named Leo Baekeland
  • “Time” magazine proclaimed Bakelite the “material of a thousand uses” in an article profiling the material in 1924
  • Bakelite’s relatively high resistance to heat makes for an easy test as to a piece’s authenticity. If you question whether your bracelet is Bakelite or not, apply a hot tip of a small pin or tine of a fork against the inside band. If it melts, it's plastic; true Bakelite won’t melt

Recommended Items at Auction

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Vintage Bakelite and Jewelry Collection
Oct 22, 9:00 AM EDT
Vintage Bakelite and Jewelry Collection
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $65- $135
$250 Bids
Vintage Bakelite Collection
Oct 22, 9:00 AM EDT
Vintage Bakelite Collection
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $50- $125
$250 Bids
Bakelite and Estate Vintage Necklaces (10)
Oct 22, 9:00 AM EDT
Bakelite and Estate Vintage Necklaces (10)
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $90- $190
$300 Bids
ART DECO BAKELITE / LUCITE NECKLACE
Oct 28, 5:00 PM IDT
ART DECO BAKELITE / LUCITE NECKLACE
by The Bidder
Est: $0- $0
$250 Bids
Vintage Bakelite and Lucite bracelets
Oct 24, 11:30 PM EDT
Vintage Bakelite and Lucite bracelets
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $650- $750
$4500 Bids
Vintage Faceted Cherry Bakelite Stretch Bracelet
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
Vintage Faceted Cherry Bakelite Stretch Bracelet
by Greenwich Auction
Est: $30- $50
$300 Bids
Vintage Black Bakelite Stretch Bracelet
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
Vintage Black Bakelite Stretch Bracelet
by Greenwich Auction
Est: $70- $90
$500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Vintage Bakelite Jewelry


Keystone Auctions LLC

Keystone Auctions LLC

Greenwich Auction

Greenwich Auction

The Bidder

The Bidder