Lucite is the queen of diversity, appearing in many forms, colors and styles in jewelry from the 1940′s on, although it was most popular during the ’40′s and ’50′s. It is an acrylic resin, and one type of thermoset plastic (Bakelite is another, although Bakelite is a phenol formaldehye resin). A brief aside here to clear up a point – the term ‘thermoset’ does NOT refer to a specific form or style of plastic; it is a broad-based term referring to any plastic that, once heated and formed, cannot be melted down and reformed.
And so, the purpose here is to illustrate a variety of the forms of lucite that you might come across. Although clear in its original state, like the apple pendant above, lucite can be tinted virtually any color, in ranges from transparent to opaque, with a few interesting variations along the way. Lucite Jewelry makes a great gift for the insect lover too.
The Basics: Solid-Color Lucite – Solid colors are used for many purposes; white lucite can look like milk glass in a pair of earrings; black lucite can be used like onyx; many pieces have been carved or molded to add interest. Pictured is a navy bangle with carved accents, a bright yellow bangle, a pair of blue earrings with a molded pattern, and a necklace with solid-color turquoise beads.