banglesThe word Bakelite just sounds yummy. In reality, Bakelite is a thermosetting phenol formaldehyde resin. Not quite so yummy, right? Still, Bakelite deserves some kudos. Dubbed the world’s first synthetic plastic, it was used for a variety of purposes – from electrical insulators to children’s toys. That’s pretty impressive, and we haven’t even talked about the jewelry. Oh, the jewelry…

Bakelite jewelry is gorgeous. Produced from the 1920s to the 1940s, it was dyed every color of the rainbow and made into beaded necklaces, bangles, earrings and brooches. It was also marbled and carved into whimsical shapes such as fruit, animals and acorns. I love the sweet little cherries. I will have a piece with cherries someday…maybe.


Bakelite is highly collectible and can be expensive. At the same time, consider what you'd pay for a piece of modern plastic jewelry (hey there, J.Crew and Anthro!). A piece of Bakelite jewelry is an investment that is classic and won’t ever go out of style. Keep that in mind, and if you find a piece that you know you’ll treasure forever, you might want to add it to your jewelry box.

These pieces are from my personal collection. To see more Bakelite, check out my vintage accessories Pinterest board.