How to Identify Bakelite Jewelry

Bakelite jewelry was very popular in the early 1900s and remained a popular choice for women until the year 1940. These pieces were relatively cheaper as compared to the more expensive jewelry brands, and could be found in many different colours. As the trend ended in 1940, it is difficult to find original pieces of this type of jewelry nowadays.

There are a number of ways through which you can identify original Bakelite jewelry. Some of the most popular methods include checking the weight, sound and smell. You can also compare authentication tests of two sets of jewelry or conduct a Simichrome polish test.


  • 1

    Tap two pieces of jewelry together

    One of the easiest and best ways to identify Bakelite jewelry is to tap two pieces together. You can identify from the sound whether the piece you are buying is original or not. Bakelite jewelry will generally make a deep clunking sound when tapped together, unlike any other jewelry.

  • 2

    Weight of the jewelry

    Bakelite jewelry is heavier in comparison to other jewelry of the same size. You can hold the piece in your hand and determine from the weight whether the piece is original or not. If the weight of the Bakelite piece is heavier in comparison to any other jewelry of the same size that you are holding, it is an original.

  • 3

    Smell the Bakelite jewelry

    Another way to check the Bakelite jewelry is to rub the piece with your thumb until it gets extremely warm. When it heats up due to friction, smell it. If the smell is like formaldehyde, you have an original piece in your hand.

  • 4

    Simichrome polish test

    This is an effective test to identify Bakelite jewelry. You need to apply some amount of Simichrome polish to a small cloth. Rub the cloth on the piece of jewelry and if the cloth turns yellow after rubbing, the piece is an original. If the cloth does not turn yellow, the jewelry is a fake. You can also use a cotton swab instead of a piece of cloth.

  • 5

    Authentication tests

    A good way to check whether the Bakelite jewelry is original or not is to compare a set of Authentication tests. You can buy the jewelry if the test results are similar.

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