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Mahjong Tile Materials

Handmade Beaded Jewelry
Tiles range in size, but are generally
1 1/4" x 7/8" x 1/2."

The materials I work with are (approximate years are noted):
  • Bakelite 1920's - 1940's
  • Catalin 1930's - 1940's
  • Crisloid 1960's - 1970's
  • Marblelite, Marblite, Marblelike 1950's+
  • Pyralin & "French Ivory" Celluloid 1920's - 1930's
  • Bamboo 1920's+
  • Bone & Bamboo 1920's+
Bakelite tiles are for the most part amber or butterscotch. Applejuice bakelite is translucent and may have cracks.

Catalin is a thermoset plastic very similar to Bakelite. Tiles are buttercream color and also have a more shiny finish than Bakelite. I have some Catalin tiles that are aqua which was an interesting discovery.

Marblelite or Marblelike tiles are more colorful and the colors more saturated. I use primarly red, black, periwinkle, royal blue, pink and purple.

I have used two types of Celluloid - French Ivory and Pyralin. The French Ivory Celluloid tiles have a surface design intended to look like real ivory, and the Pyralin tiles I have used have two layers of black and cream.

I also use Bone & Bamboo tiles. The two layers are dovetailed together, hand etched and hand painted. They are tiny works of art!

Alternate spellings and other names:

Mahjong, Mahjongg, Mah Jong, Mah Jongg, Mah-Jong, Mah-Jongg, Ma Diao, Ma Cheuk, Mah Cheuck, Baak Ling, or Pung Chow

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