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What Are Lucite® Earrings?

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  • Written By: Andrea Cross
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Lucite® earrings are made from an acrylic resin consisting of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). Introduced in the 1930s by the DuPont Chemical Company, Lucite® jewelry became very popular in the 1940s and 1950s and has continued to be a top choice for costume jewelery. Lucite® earrings are available as vintage items, mass-produced costume jewelry, and designer pieces.

Earrings made from Lucite® are popular for a number of reasons. They are simple to mold, etch, and carve, resulting in a nearly endless variety of styles, from the simple to the elaborate. The earrings are inexpensive to produce, making them very affordable to a large number of consumers. Very durable and light to wear, they are excellent choices for children as well as adults.

Naturally a transparent material, Lucite® can be produced in any desired color, from the delicately tinted to the opaque. Lucite® earrings are often made to imitate jewels or precious stones. Moonglow Lucite® is a semitransparent form popular for earrings and has the appearance of a luminous, semiprecious stone. Likewise, pearlescent Lucite® can look nearly identical to real pearls.

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Confetti Lucite® is another style popular for Lucite® earrings. This form is made of translucent Lucite® encasing tiny chips of colored Lucite® or glitter. Similar to this is granite Lucite®, which consists of opaque pieces in different colors blended together to take on the appearance of granite. Embedded Lucite® is also a very popular form for Lucite® earrings. This type embeds objects such as flowers or pictures in a clear body.

These forms of Lucite® are usually cut in a cabochon style for earrings, shaped, and then polished. The result is a smooth shape with a flat bottom and a convex top that artists then place into a metal setting. The solid-colored, opaque forms of Lucite® are usually faceted or shaped into teardrops and spheres for earrings to take advantage of the form's gem-like appearance.

Lucite® earrings are a popular choice due to their affordability. At one end of the spectrum, they can be considered a form of disposable fashion, inexpensive enough that most people can afford multiple pairs and buy new pairs readily as fashion changes. Unless they are vintage, they are not usually seen as collectible or investment pieces. At the other end of the spectrum, however, are designer pairs that can cost thousands of dollars. These pieces are usually either from very well-known designers or are blended with real gemstones such as diamonds.

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anon260575
Post 1

Where can one buy moonglow lucite from which to make jewelry? Not interested in buying component parts. --Monica

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