Comments for Vulcanite Necklace?

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Testing Vulcanite
by: Mannie

Hi Karen

that's an interesting smell test. And an inexpensive one! I have been an antique jewelry investor :-) for a few years, and have acquired an interesting antique maltese cross pendant, ornately carved, and never could work out, if it was made from Vulcanite or Gutta-percha. Thanks for the heads-up Karen! I'm just thinking, would the vulcanite pass the same smell test as the gutta-percha, if the Vulcanite, has had the sulfur added to "Vulcanize" it?


Smell Testing
by: antique jewelry investor s

Hi there, Rubber does have a distinct smell about it when it's heated. Are the beads cool to the touch like glass beads or not? Vulcanite being a derivative of Rubber should smell like rubber when heated then. have you tried rubbing the beads against the sleeve of your coat or the leg of your pants and smelling them? Also the you-tube video on Victorian mourning Jewelry that Yvonne recommended is worth watching.


Vulcanite, Gutta- Percha & Victorian Mourning Jewelry
by: Anonymous

Good Morning Bonnie!
we have found your little question about your lovely old necklace! Sorry for the delay in responding.

Bonnie, if the material can be determined to be Vulcanite or Gutta-Percha and if we could see a close-up image of the clasp, we would have a better idea of the necklace's age.

Most jewelry items that are made from VULCANITE today are BLACK pieces of jewelry that were made to ape JET mourning jewelry. (what many people do not know however is that both "Gutta-percha" & "Vulcanite" were also used to imitate cream colored IVORY!)

Vulcanite first entered the market as a cheaper substitute for Jet, and remained popular until fashion for mourning jewelry drew to a close. There were literally different degrees or stages of mourning that were reflected in mourning fashion and jewelry in the Victorian era.

Vulcanite is often confused with Gutta-percha. They both are a type of RUBBER.

Here is the difference between Vulcanite & Gutta-Percha:

Gutta-percha is the sap of a tree that grows in Malaya and introduced to England in 1841. VULCAITE was made from INDIAN rubber. The sap from the Indian rubber was mixed with other ingredients and then mixed with sulfur to harden and VULCANIZE it.

There is an informative YouTube tutorial on Victorian Mourning Jewelry in the Jewelry Resources.

Best Wishes,
Yvonne Hammouda-Eyre

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