Lucite® jewelry is seen in a wide array of colors, cuts and designs, although the main composition is a hard type of acrylic or plastic. Typically designed as fashion or costume jewelry, Lucite® is often used for making rings, bracelets, necklaces and other trendy accessories. A popular type of Lucite® jewelry is retro or vintage style, reminiscent of pieces worn during the 1940s. Some designs of Lucite® jewelry are replicas of authentic crystals or diamonds that were worn by glamorous movie stars of yesteryear.
When making Lucite® jewelry, fashion designers will often incorporate intricate faceting to add luster and brilliance to the cut. Made to resemble faceted diamonds and crystal, the pieces are then synthetically enhanced through a coloring process. The dying process gives the jewelry the appearance of genuine gemstones, such as the deep blue sapphire, London blue topaz or blue-green aquamarine. Other synthetic gemstones in Lucite® jewelry include amethyst, emerald and ruby colored pieces. Some Lucite® jewelry designs are colorless or transparent.
Similar to the process of cutting diamonds and gemstones, Lucite® jewelry is often created in various types of cuts. Popular choices include the princess cut, emerald cut and the pear cut, also referred to as a teardrop shape. The marquise cut is often seen in solitaire Lucite® rings and pendants. The acrylic or resin used for making Lucite® jewelry is relatively easy to work with, as it is a durable material that does not usually shatter when cut. Jewelry made of Lucite® may also be embedded with tiny colorful beads or designs, adding greater dimension to the piece.
Contemporary Lucite® and vintage Lucite® share similar characteristics, although there are a few features that differentiate the two. Many vintage-style Lucite® pieces will be set in sterling silver or gold tone. It's common to find vintage jewelry in a clear or solid color, whereas the contemporary designs are often seen in a dazzling array of rainbow colors. Confetti styles incorporate glittering multi-colored flecks throughout the jewelry, and are popular for making bracelets.
Lucite® is not only used for making rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets, but for creating unique fashion accessories as well. Some fashion designers use Lucite® for embellishing their handbags or shoes. It's common to find fashion boutiques offering Lucite® hairpins and barrettes, or even eyeglass frames. In addition, children's fashion jewelry such as bangle bracelets is often made with Lucite® because it is so durable.