So far, my jewelry collecting has covered Sherman rhinestones, Coro thermoset and Boucher crystal beads so now it's time to take a closer look at the fun and fantastic bakelite bangles that were all the rage during the 30's and 40's.
My collection of bakelite bangles was not a conscious decision I made, the bakelite chose me! I had a 12-month spell a couple of years ago where I was finding bakelite bangles whether I was looking for them or not! They seemed to be everywhere, second-hand stores, charity shops, yard sale tables, flea markets and all at ridiculously low prices. Funny thing about this though is that at the exact same time, a friend of mine who also buys jewelry in the same town and checks the same places I do couldn't find a single piece. I guess I had them all LOL!!
The wide chunky butterscotch one with the carved diamond pattern was purchased at a charity shop for $1, the smooth orange one with the copper flower detail was purchased at Value Village (this is a second-hand chain store in Canada) for $1.49, the diamond faceted one in rich carmel was found in a box full of jewelry I had paid $25 for, the two large marbled brown ones were found by my mother at two different yard sales (on the same day!), at a flea market, I purchased a sandwich baggie that had four or five different color spacer bakelite bangles, all for $2. I could go on and on and document how little all these gorgeous bracelets were purchased for but I think you get the message. These bracelets show up all over the place and for next to nothing if you take the time to look.
The only bakelite bracelet in my collection that was purchased from a dealer is the super wide chocolate brown carved rose one. I paid $65 for it which was still an incredible price considering it is a book piece documented time and time again in books on vintage plastic jewelry.
I love the smooth, chunky feel they have and the way they clang when they are worn. They look fantastic with a warm turtleneck sweater or with a tailored long-sleeve blouse and jeans. These colorful and beautiful bangles can provide the finishing touch to any long sleeved-casual top and pants in your wardrobe. Colorful, elegant and sophisticated, they have a place in any jewelry collection, vintage or not! If you don't already own any, keep an eye out for them, they are still plentiful and priced at a point that anyone can afford!
PS: I think I might be back on a bakelite roll! Yesterday I went to our local flea market and found the marbled orange/brown and marbled mustard bracelets in the last photo for 10 cents each! They were mixed in a shoe box full of children's jewelry!! See, they are still out there!!