SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • ON TV
  • ON TOUR
  • WATCH ONLINE
  • WEB EXCLUSIVES
  • RESOURCES
  • SHOP
  • The Roadshow Archive

    Bakelite Bracelet, ca. 1940

    Appraised Value:

    $300 - $500 (1998)

    Updated Value:

    $300 - $500 (2012)

    Appraised on: July 11, 1998

    Appraised in: Louisville, Kentucky

    Appraised by: Gloria Lieberman

    Category: Jewelry

    Episode Info: Louisville (#1725)
    Louisville (#311)

    Originally Aired: April 19, 1999

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 2 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Bracelet
    Material: Bakelite
    Period / Style: 1940s
    Value Range: $300 - $500 (1998)
    Updated Value: $300 - $500 (2012)

    Related Links:

    Understanding Our Appraisals
    Useful tips to keep in mind when watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW

    Comment

    Appraisal Video: (2:10)

    appraiser

    Appraised By:

    Gloria Lieberman
    Jewelry

    Skinner, Inc.

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: I think it's a piece of Bakelite.

    APPRAISER: Why do you think it's Bakelite and not another form of plastic?

    GUEST: Texture and weight.

    APPRAISER: The texture of it. Well, this is really interesting. We see a lot of Bakelites at an auction house, and many of the things that come in have value, as you know, and some have very little value. How much did you pay for this?

    GUEST: Ten dollars.

    APPRAISER: Was this recently?

    GUEST: Yes.

    APPRAISER: Well, the first thing to determine is how rare is this Bakelite bracelet? And the way we do that is by saying, how many colors does it have? Well, this one only has one color. Does it have carving? This one does not have carving. Does it have laminates where the colors are woven together? Obviously, this one does not. That's what makes a bracelet worth a lot in the market today. However, this one still has value because it has great style. But I'm not going to give you the value just yet. What I wanted to do is a lot of people say, "How do you know it's Bakelite as opposed to another kind of plastic?" So I found a very, very simple test. We need some hot water to test this. It's not scientific equipment. It's just a glass with some supposedly very hot water. You take this, and you dip it in. And then you smell it. And what happens when it's Bakelite-- and this is Bakelite; it passed the test-- it has an acrid smell. It just smells terribly, whereas other plastics have no odor. Now, having said that it's not multicolored, it's not carved, it's just pretty, I would value this at $300 to $500. What do you think?

    GUEST: I think I did very well.

    APPRAISER: I think you did great. And I really like it, and if you find more, what the fashion statement is, more is better. Wear three, four, or five of these.

    GUEST: Great.

    APPRAISER: And I hope you continue collecting Bakelite.

    GUEST: I will.



    WGBH This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 WGBH Educational Foundation.
    ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
    WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
    PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

    ROADSHOW on Facebook ROADSHOW Tweets ROADSHOW on YouTube