Live Long and Prosper: Late 19th Century Vulcanite Bracelet

November 26, 2010

A Faded Beauty

Though considered by some to be an inferior imitation of Jet, Vulcanite is a wonderful and beautiful material, primarily due its ability to be moulded. But what one may consider to be a plus (as it can expand and have more intricate pattern details), it also makes Vulcanite fall into the category of mass production, hence the carved nature of Jet makes it more desirable. Also, many Vulcanite designs were copied directly from Jet, as to provide for the cheaper alternative, hence the opinion of it to be a lesser Jet.

For your viewing pleasure today is a charming little bracelet that expands at the wrist and has the floral, forget-me-not design moulded on top.

Unfortunately, Vulcanite has the tendency to lose its colour with age, when exposed to light, it tends to fade to brown, as this piece has.

Vulcanite was patented in 1846, as the patent specified a manner of mixing rubber and sulphur, then heating the mixture to one hundred and fifteen degrees Celsius. It produces a brown powder when scratched and has a faint odour of sulphur. Often, a Vulcanite piece in good condition can be hard to discern from actual Jet, but one of the signs to look for (next to burning it with a needle and checking for the smell – Jet smells of coal) is to look at the design and note if the piece is obviously moulded (such as the smooth, curved expanding band on this piece) or if there are the obvious carving marks.

3 Responses to “Live Long and Prosper: Late 19th Century Vulcanite Bracelet”


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kate Mayfield and Clare Gibson, Hayden Peters. Hayden Peters said: Live Long and Prosper: Late 19th Century Vulcanite Bracelet: http://wp.me/pPzeJ-p0 […]


  2. […] Live Long and Prosper: Late 19th Century Vulcanite Bracelet,” last modified November 26, 2010, https://artofmourning.wordpress.com/2010/11/26/live-long-and-prosper-late-19th-century-vulcanite-brac… [8]“VICTORIAN vulcanite hand with basket brooch,” Morning Glory Antiques & Jewelry, […]


  3. […] Live Long and Prosper: Late 19th Century Vulcanite Bracelet,” last modified November 26, 2010, https://artofmourning.wordpress.com/2010/11/26/live-long-and-prosper-late-19th-century-vulcanite-brac… [8]“VICTORIAN vulcanite hand with basket brooch,” Morning Glory Antiques & Jewelry, […]


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