There is more to collecting jewelry than just focusing on precious metals and rare gemstones. A very popular market in the second hand market has sprung up and people are willing to spend fair amounts of cash to add these items to their personal collections. Vintage costume jewelry is a hot item. Specifically items made from vintage forms of plastic have become quite popular.
One of the most popular forms of old plastic jewelry sought after by collectors is Bakelite. Bakelite was a type of plastic used in a great number of household items ranging from flatware to telephones. It did not take long for it to catch on as a wonderful material for making jewelry as well. Earrings, bracelets, necklaces and all sorts of fashionable accessories were produced to take advantage of the plastic’s ability to show off amazing colors and stand up to daily use. Now these old relics are back in style and their sturdiness is paying off.
Many women who are in their later years already have a splendid variety of these now valuable baubles stashed away in jewelry boxes. Most probably do not realize how valuable their collections have become over time. Frequent visitors of estate sales know that one of the first places they should check when they arrive is the jewelry table. Vintage Bakelite jewelry gets scooped up in a hurry at these sales and is often resold on sites like eBay for a nice profit. The irony is that these items were first produced as a less expensive alternative for women during the war years of the 1940’s.
Bakelite was a welcome advance in the development of plastics. Earlier forms of plastic, such as celluloid were popular, but were also extremely flammable and less stable than Bakelite. This is not to say that Bakelite cannot be damaged. On the contrary, if you own any old jewelry made of this type of plastic, you should clean it with care and protect it as much as possible to maintain its wonderful finish.
Collecting jewelry is a great way to keep in touch with the past and celebrate fashion history. Vintage pieces of jewelry do not have to be filled with diamonds or emeralds to be valuable. Costume jewelry that has stood the test of time has earned a place in modern collections. Jewelry that has passed from one generation to the next can be especially precious to the lady wearing it. If you enjoy jewelry, take a look to the past. You might be surprised at the beautiful treasures you have been missing.