Bakelite is a variety of moldable plastic that was invented by Leo Bakeland in 1909. Chemically, it is described as a thermosetting phenyl formaldehyde resin. Bakelite reached its height of popularity in the 1930's during the Great Depression. As well as injecting beauty and durability into everyday household goods, bakelite was fashioned into wonderful pieces of jewelry such as colorful bangles, brooches, pendants and earrings. While not intrinsically valuable, vintage bakelite is very collectible and can sometimes be quite pricey.