1) TESTING BY SOUND
Listen for the CLUNK when two pieces of bakelite are tapped together.
It is much more of a solid sound than plastic.
Try tapping two pieces of plastic together to learn how to distinguish the sound.
2) TESTING BY FEEL
Consider the weight of a piece of plastic.
Bakelite feels heavier, more dense than plastic does.
Hold a piece of plastic jewlery in one hand and a piece of bakelite jewlery
in the other and you will quickly see the difference.
3) TESTING BY SMELL
Rub the item quickly with your thumb until it begins to heat up.
Then before it cools smell it.
A distinct chemical odor that smells like formaldehyde will linger with
most genuine bakelite.
This method takes a bit of practice and gettting used to that bakelite
4) TESTING BY SIGHT
Get yourself some non-abrasive simichrome polish used for
Sparingly apply and rub a small area of the piece in question.
The towel should turn yellow if it is authentic bakelite
Lacquered bakelite will not pass this test however.
5) TESTING BY SIGHT
Inspect the piece closely.
Look for wear, scratches and patina that new plastic pieces
normally do not exhibit.
Use a magnifying glass and look for tiny chips, generally old pieces
of bakelite will not be free of these flaws.
6) TESTING BY SIGHT
Using 409 Cleaner
Dampen a cotton swab and rub it gently on the inside of the item being tested
If it is bakelite the swab will turn yellow.
Lacquered and black bakelite sontimes fail this test.