How to distinguish genuine Bakelite from plastic

By eHow Contributor

Bakelite is an early form of plastic from the early 1900s. It was often used in jewelery, toys, radios and kitchenware. Recently, Bakelite has become extremely collectible and valuable and this article will show you how to find this valuable item whether you are buying it to sell or to keep!

Bakelite, first of all, feels heavier and more dense than plastic, so if you have a heavy buckle, button or houseware item that feels denser and heavier then average plastic, you can do a simple test to see if you have genuine Bakelite.

Take your Bakelite item and run hot, but not boiling water, over it. Bakelite will have an overwhelming smell of carbolic acid. Many people say carbolic acid smells like burnt milk or formaldehyde.

If your item should not get wet, you can also rub the item with your finger very hard until you get a significant amount of friction. Smell the item and you should smell carbolic acid.