Plastics are man-made substances used in jewelry to imitate natural gem materials. Early plastics were organically derived, like the combination of casein and lye. With Charles Goodyear’s development of the vulcanization of natural rubber, we had vulcanite. Bakelite was the first fully synthetic plastic to appear on the jewelry scene.
Egyptian Revival Ring with Plastic Composite Carved Scarab, c.1900-1910.