Karima Parry's
[Plastic Fantastic Logo]
Specializing in Bakelite, Celluloid, Lucite,
and other vintage plastic costume jewelry
from the 1920's to the 1960's

Email: karima@plasticfantastic.com

Plastic Jewelry Terminology


Bakelite, Catalin, Celluloid, Lucite, and other vintage plastics can be found in almost every color of the rainbow. Unfortunately, the limited palette of colors available for creating this site may cause some distortion of colors. Reds, especially, do not translate well. Therefore, I have developed the following glossary to help you to have a better idea of the true color of any piece described, regardless of how it may appear on your screen.

Creme: Creamy white
Creamed Corn: Light creamy yellow
Custard: The color of egg custard
Butterscotch: Golden yellow with a hint of brow
Toffee: Light yellowish brown
Golden: Medium golden greenish brown
Cocoa: Light brown
Chocolate: Medium brown
Coffee bean: Dark brown
Rootbeer: Transparent golden brown, often with black swirls
Black: True black, no other body color when held to light
Apple juice: Transparent golden yellow
Pineapple: Light yellow
Lemon: Intense bright yellow
Tangerine: Intense bright orange with a hint of yellow
Coral: Pinkish orange
Melon: Cantaloupe orange
Orange: Orange
Rust: Deep orange with a hint of brown
Peppermint: Light pink
Fuscia: Strong Deep Pink with a hint of blue
Cherry: Intense bright red
Tomato: Red with a hint of orange
Rasberry: Red with a hint of blue or purple
Cranberry: Purplish red
Wine: Deep burgundy red
Navy: Dark navy blue
Vaseline: Yellowish green, the color of Anti-freeze
Chartreuse: Light celery green
Lime: Intense bright green
Green apple juice : Transparent bright green
Olive: Olive green
Moss: Deep brownish green
Forest: Deep green
Leaf : Medium green with a hint of blue
Pea soup: Medium green with a hint of brown
Jade: Mottled medium and darker greens
Creamed Spinach: Greens swirled with white or yellow
Ink spot: Dark bluish green splotches on yellow backround
Teal: Dark greenish blue
Blue moon: Dark teal with yellow marbling
End of Day: A mixture of three or more colors, supposedly created at the end of the day, when all the remaining plastic from the day's production were combined.

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Plain: Uniform color throughout.
Marbled: A blended swirl of two or more colors.
Layered: One color of plastic on top of another with indistinct boundaries between the colors.
Laminated: One color of plastic on top of another with distinct boundaries between the layers.
Transparent: Transparent, and appears transparent when worn.
Light Transparent: Plastic that appears translucent, but is actually transparent when held to the light.
Translucent: Like holding a piece of bone china up to the light, and discerning the shape of your fingers through it. In some marbled plastics, there may be a mixture of transparent and translucent areas.
Opaque: Light does not pass through the plastic, or does so only on thinner areas, such as in the valleys of the carved areas or along the edges.
Light weight: Light weight and thin.
Medium weight: Medium weight and average thickness.
Chunky weight: A heavier more substantial weight piece.
Heavy weight: A bold heavy piece, sometimes reaching as much as an inch or more in thickness at it's thickest point.
Domed: A domed piece is thicker in the center and tapers at the edges.
Sliced: A sliced bracelet is the same thickness throughout, without tapering at the edges.

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Etched: Very faintly carved surface decoration
Lightly Carved: Faint carving
Medium Carved: Average depth carving
Deeply Carved: Deeper than average carving
Heavily Carved: Extremely deeply carved
Faceted: Carved with a regular pattern of facets
Grooved: Routed out in a line
Pierced: The material has been cut completely through
Inlaid: A space is routed out of the material, and a contrasting material is fitted into that space. Bakelite polka dot bracelets are an excellent example of inlay technique.

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Plastic Fantastic is very picky about the condition of any item we buy or sell, and in clarifying to our customers the condition of any item they purchase. To that end, we carefully inspect every item, and note the condition in the item description. Original pin backs are heat set and imbedded in the material of the pin, unless otherwise noted. Necklace clasps are, to the best of our knowledge, the original ones that came with the piece, unless otherwise noted. If a necklace has been restrung, it will be noted in the description. Rhinestone condition, which can include greying, clouding, yellowing, darkening, or missing stones, will be noted in the item description. Plastic Fantastic will never knowingly sell a piece that is a reproduction, restoration, or otherwise has been re-worked. However, any detectable repairs that have been done to a piece will be noted in the item description.

Mint: A dream come true! There are no signs of wear whatsoever, including no discolored stones. A piece that is in Mint Condition is in virtually the same condition as it was when it left the manufacturer. Considering that vintage jewelry is usually 50 or more years old, and that it likely has been worn, it is obviously quite rare to find a piece that is truly in Mint Condition.

Fine: A piece in Fine Condition may show extremely slight wear, but not enough to have developed a patina.

Excellent: A piece in Excellent Condition will show reasonable evidence of wear, and have developed a fine patina.

Good: A piece in Good Condition will show substantial evidence of wear. It will have a noticeable patina which may include numerous very fine pits or lines. It will NOT have cracks, chips, obviously discolored or poorly replaced stones, evidence of glue or other repairs, or other evidence of hard wear which Plastic Fantastic considers to be damage. Damage of any kind is separately detailed in the item description, and generally items with damage appear at very reduced prices in the Bargain section.

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