Usually I can test Bakelite easily but every once in a while a piece confuses me.

 Last summer, I found these green marbled earrings at an antique store in The Middle of Nowhere, Missouri. They sure looked like Bakelite, with that swirl, the coloring and the weight was correct.

 They earring backs are obviously old as well but my tried and true rub and sniff didn't work!  Pj and I both rubbed those things till our thumbs were numb but no smell. I have a very good nose for bakelite too but when that thick patina gets in my way, Pj never fails. At $2 I bought them anyway because they are pretty and if it looks like Bakelite, maybe it's a good fake! Who cares, right? We were on a road trip so I spent a long time clacking them together and trying to figure out what they are. The clack (more of a clink) sounded  like stone so I thought they could be a dyed stone of some kind.

Yesterday, while rummaging through plastic bins of junk jewelry at the local antique mall I found this bracelet for $1.50.

It's very thin, root beer colored and felt too light to be Bakelite but the thickness of the plastic could have played a role in that. The vertical lines in the swirl pattern is a tell tale Bakelite giveaway but again, that rub and sniff wasn't working for me. I have some Lucite pieces that also have that vertical swirl too.  I seemed to get the faint scent of formaldehyde but you always smell what you want to smell. There were no seams but the inside of the bracelet has a cross-cross ridge, like someone filed or sawed it and that really threw me off because in general, Bakelite should be smooth.

It's an oval shape, which I've seen but isn't as common as round shapes. Again, it looks like it's the real thing so I bought it and brought it home.

What do you think? Are they Bakelite or some strange plastic or stone?......

I brought them home and ran them under very hot water for about 3 minutes, gave them a whiff and you bet, they're Bakelite! That formaldehyde smell was very strong. In your adventures, if you spot a "maybe" for a song and most tests pass, go ahead and bring it home. It may be Bakelite and if it's not, you have the look for less!

Also on the hunt yesterday, I found this beautiful pair of brown carved Bakelite screw backs. Strangely, the seller had them labeled as Bakelite but the price was $1.75! So I thought, "Okay, crazy person, I'll take 'em!"

More on Bakelite
My Bakelite Collection
How to Identify Bakelite