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Plastic Jewelry experts! Need help!

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by debutanteclothing, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. debutanteclothing

    debutanteclothing VFG Member

    I bought a necklace today. I saw one similar to it in a collectible plastic jewelry book. The clasp is also plastic. I ran it under hot water, and it did have a chemically smell, but not that of bakelite. Does celluloid also have a smell?

  2. hws4sale

    hws4sale Registered Guest

    As far as I know, All plastics have their own unique smell. Bakelite smells like embalming fluid. Lucite smells like moth balls, and little old ladies, to me. Celluloid smells kinda sweet and musty, at the same time. Amber, when heated, smells like burnt hair.
    Dont know how much sense this makes, it's still way too early to think straight.
    Need coffee....:asleep::wacko:
    Of course this is just my personal oppinion.
  3. we want to see a picture :)

    there is also acrylic in the world of plastic as well.
  4. b*a*vintagequeen

    b*a*vintagequeen Registered Guest

    Yes photos would help ....let us see it please!
  5. debutanteclothing

    debutanteclothing VFG Member

    Ok, I took some quick pics. According to a book I have, this would be celuloid. But I have always thought celluloid was light and delicate. this necklace the chunky sound of bakelite, resembles a bakelite smell, although it smells a little fishy, if that makes any sense. I know, I know, ew. but after doing more research, I am wondering if this is isn't French Bakelite. According a website I found, french bakelite is supposed to resemble bone or ivory. Look at the close up of the bead.

    <img src="http://members.sparedollar.com/debutanteclothing/bakelite-necklace.jpg">

    <img src="http://members.sparedollar.com/debutanteclothing/bakelite-necklace-detail.jpg">

    <img src="http://members.sparedollar.com/debutanteclothing/bakelite-necklace-screw-cla.jpg">
  6. debutanteclothing

    debutanteclothing VFG Member

    BTW, it did not react to Simichrome. I know it has to be an older plastic. I am confident it isn't lucite or acrylic.
  7. igotbuttons

    igotbuttons Registered Guest

    This is Celluloid. We call this particular style of celluloid "Ivoroid". Well, at least the white beads are. The black? Don't know yet. The most definitive method for identification of your plastics (short of scientific analysis) is a hot needle test.

    I can email anyone some information about a fabulous button book that is all about plastic buttons and how to identify them from one of the foremost plastic button collectors in this country. I understand that she only has a few copies left from her original printing.

    I don't see why you couldn't use the hot needle method to positively identify items other than buttons for better sales!!

  8. debutanteclothing

    debutanteclothing VFG Member

    Thanks Patti! I was afraid of trying the hot pin test, but I am pretty confident with your identification. Now, what age? I'm thinking 20s or 30s because of the length. It falls to about the bust line. Am I right?
  9. igotbuttons

    igotbuttons Registered Guest

    P.S. Celluloid will smell like camphor when heated. Also, try putting in it a jar all by itself and closing the lid. Leave it as such for a few days and then open the lid and take a sniff. You'll get a whiff of the camphor! Celluloid "off-gases" and the smell of those gases is the "camphor". Also, do NOT store your celluloid with metals. They will react with each other and both items will begin to deteriorate. Celluloid should be stored in a well ventilated area (a jewelry box with vent holes) and they should be checked on occassion for deterioration.

  10. debutanteclothing

    debutanteclothing VFG Member

    Also, some of the white beads are starting to get a dark color, like they have been stained with black or something. Does this mean they are "sick"?
  11. debutanteclothing

    debutanteclothing VFG Member

  12. igotbuttons

    igotbuttons Registered Guest

    hmm...I'm afraid that I can help you with the ID of the plastic but the age? I'm going to have to go with the time frame during which this type of plastic was prevalent. And, my disorder disorder kicked in...can't find my plastic button book! I'll have to get back to you on that, but if I had to guess, I would say 40's or 50's at the LATEST ( just based on the plastic).

  13. igotbuttons

    igotbuttons Registered Guest

    no, this type of plastic is prone to turning to a cream color. Where is the darker coloring?
  14. debutanteclothing

    debutanteclothing VFG Member

    the darker coloring is on some of the white beads. It is faint black. Is it a problem that the chain is metal? Could that be causing the dark coloring?
  15. igotbuttons

    igotbuttons Registered Guest

    is the coloring around the chain (the holes?)
  16. debutanteclothing

    debutanteclothing VFG Member

    yes, and on the center of some of the beads.
  17. Hi,
    I'm curious. Without doing a hot pin test to determine if these are plastic how do you know they are not bone or ivory? With those lines they look like bone to me but I am certainly no expert.

  18. debutanteclothing

    debutanteclothing VFG Member

    Good point. what does bone smell iike when it burns?
  19. Bone wouldn't melt at the touch of a hot pin.
  20. debutanteclothing

    debutanteclothing VFG Member

    Well, I tried the hot pin test. No melting but it did pierce rather easily. I couldn't detect an odor though. Still a mystery. sigh.

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