My good friend Delores loves shopping at Dogbotz Boneyard as she has been a collector of costume jewelry for a few years now. While chatting last week, Delores asked me about the use of plastic in vintage costume jewelry as she had recently discovered Bakelite, both in its colorful beauty and in its investment value. As there were three musical Andrews Sisters Patty, Maxine, and LaVerne who were established singers and radio personalities throughout the s and 50s, so, too, were there three plastics that made costume jewelry quite eye-catching and, today, often expensive.
Vertical rows of clear and amethyst-colored rhinestones add sparkle, while the handwoven brass chain features vintage circa faceted lucite links. An antique glass button dangles from the clasp. Vintage Charm Necklace.
From the s Lucite became a popular material for costume jewelry. It was less expensive to produce than other new plastics at that time, such as Catalin and Bakelite. Lucite jewelry was popularised in the middle of the twentieth century as it became entwined with the haute couture of Hollywood.
Lucite, developed by the Dupont Company inmade its first appearances in the jewelry world toward the end of World War II. It does not include jewelry items that incorporate only a small amount of clear Lucite in the overall design and it does not include jewelry that uses colored or opaque Lucite. Morning Glory Antiques has a wonderful jelly belly album of pins, fur clips and earrings that incorporates both early vintage jelly belly designs up through designs of the s.
The name was trademarked a year later. However, DuPont decided to do something a little unexpected: they licensed Lucite to a few costume jewelry manufacturers. Lucite can even be carved!
I love vintage reverse carved Lucite jewelry, especially the little brooches from the s and s. Lucite is a trade name for acrylic thermoplastic Perspex is another nameand it is a fabulous material which can be melted down and re-used. As well as being factory made, reverse carving Lucite was a poular home made craft hobby during the mid 20th century.
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Actually it does but not for the reasons you might think. 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. 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.
Lucite, a form of acrylic resin, appeared in many colors and styles of jewelry during the s and s. It comes in virtually every hue, in both transparent and solid forms. Similar to Bakelite, another popular mid-century resin material, it's become collectible in recent years. Lucite is still used today in the production of some jewelry.