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Real Turtle Shell

Bonsai

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Messages
178
First I realize the subject of Turtle Shell is controversial. I am not asking for debate on that at this time.
Is this real turtle shell? I acquired it as such but the circular lines make me think plastic?
I tried hte pin test. It seemed to "melt" into the material but did not turn black. It did smell quite horrid!
I only have 1 other turtle shell item (plastic) and I tried the test on it. It melted much faster and made hairy lines of plastic come out.
But the melt pattern was similar.
Under a loupe this item looks like some type of natural substrate.
I guess the main thing that makes it seem weird is the weight of it and these perfectly circular lines inside?
Thank you for your help!

IMG_1522.jpg IMG_1523.jpg IMG_1524.jpg IMG_1525.jpg IMG_1526.jpg
 

seaurchin

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,016
IDK but it's also possible they used a machine to even it out on the inside and that's where the concentric circles come from. IDK if it applies to all plastic but one thing we used to do to test is put your tongue on it. The plastic kinda feels like a tiny burn.

ETA: I'm no expert but it looks to me like it could also be some kind of big nut or maybe wooden or shell. It's very round, though.

Can we see a whole side of it?
 
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seaurchin

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,016
Maybe kukui nut or large snail shells? It seems a bit of odd shape for a turtle or part of a turtle but not saying it couldn't be. Were you told it's turtle shell or just guessing? Do you have any idea how old it might be?
 

Bonsai

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Messages
178
I do know they use heat to mold tortoise shell....... Thats how they make the hair clips and all that.
 

stracci2000

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 26, 2007
Messages
5,381
If the hot pin made a hole, then I would say conclusively that it is some type of plastic or celluloid.
I hope you made the hole in a hidden area.

I am a member of an antiques forum, and they all get pretty upset if someone uses the hot pin test. But I've always been really careful not to harm my pieces.
They also claim that celluloid can catch on fire, even with the heat of a tiny hot pin.

It's a really interesting locket, regardless if it is tortoise or something else!
I wonder what it was for, it doesn't seem like you could put photos in there......
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
10,949
How intreging
These kind of threads often turn out to be my favourites.
What's its back story ?
Do you wear it ?
What does it look like on ?

If not for a pboto maybe some other sort of keep sake goes in it like hair ?
Please don't stick any more hot pins into it.
Even if it is plastic it could still have monetary value

there are antique plastics (Bakalite comes to mind) that are quite desirable in excellent condition like your locket appears to be
 

LilAlex

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Messages
1,090
Wouldn't the shell have to have been like an inch thick?! That seems too thick.
 

stracci2000

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 26, 2007
Messages
5,381
They're from real tortoise shell?! I thought it was colored plastic

Yes, today they are colored plastic.
But years ago tortoise shell was used for all kinds of decorative items, hair combs, etc
Now it is banned for obvious reasons, but antiques are still out there.
 

Bonsai

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Messages
178
If the hot pin made a hole, then I would say conclusively that it is some type of plastic or celluloid.
I hope you made the hole in a hidden area.

I am a member of an antiques forum, and they all get pretty upset if someone uses the hot pin test. But I've always been really careful not to harm my pieces.
They also claim that celluloid can catch on fire, even with the heat of a tiny hot pin.

It's a really interesting locket, regardless if it is tortoise or something else!
I wonder what it was for, it doesn't seem like you could put photos in there......

I left an antique forum b/c they tried to lecture me on testing a silver (turned out to be silver plated) piece in a non conspicuous area. Bunch of losers on that forum.
Its no ones business what I do with something I own that I paid my own money for.
I say this as lightly as possible... but its really annoying to ask for actual advice and people want to lecture you on what you do with your own stuff that you paid your own money for.

Whats funny is (regarding the item I posted on the "other forum") the seller took it back b/c the item was sold as solid and was plated, and then the seller proceeded to test the item with acid literally on the front of the item! All the while the idiots at the antique forum couldn't answer a question and instead tried to tell me the seller "shouldn't take it back" (which was never a question or fight between me and the seller, it was always very amicable). Not only did she willingly take it back for being misrepresented, she proceeded to test it on the face herself. (which I DID NOT do... I tested inside an area that will never see the eye unless you look)

Thats a useless forum with silly virtue signaling over what people do with their own stuff! Silly! Strange to hear their nonsense working its way over here 3 party.
Again I say all this as lightly as possible and nothing personal towards you., truly.

Whats interesting is the pictures I posted show 2 pin tests and I assume you couldn't notice them b/c you mentioned you hoped I tested it in a non conspicuous area. I suppose it was fairly non conspicuous then so no harm done.
:)

Re the pin test it can actually easily be sanded off (just like acid testing can be polished), sanding is another way to test tortoise shell and I was easily able to lightly buff a few small chips (not resulting from pin tests, assumingly trauma) that are around the edges, smooth them out so, soak it in oil and get it looking pristine. It has a number of abrasions and scratches to the inside (and some outside though not so bad)... well there were. The ones on the edges I was able to easily sand down.
 
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Bonsai

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Messages
178
How intreging
These kind of threads often turn out to be my favourites.
What's its back story ?
Do you wear it ?
What does it look like on ?

If not for a pboto maybe some other sort of keep sake goes in it like hair ?
Please don't stick any more hot pins into it.
Even if it is plastic it could still have monetary value

there are antique plastics (Bakalite comes to mind) that are quite desirable in excellent condition like your locket appears to be

Its just an intriguing locket I purchased. Supposedly verified by a gia specialist as tortoise shell but didnt come with any paper as such. When I got it the lines inside just sort of stuck out as being hmmmm.

I have not worn it yet. I prob wont too much b/c its very old and I can see how it might break. Esp the pin.
It has gold frames with glass that go inside to store the photos. Its actually very nice but I can see where you could put hair or something else in there also.
 

Bonsai

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Messages
178
so on this note since no one quite has anything concrete, who would I go to to confirm what this is made out of? I assume I couldnt do it anywhere close the jewelers around here def arent specialists.
 

Bonsai

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Messages
178
Wouldn't the shell have to have been like an inch thick?! That seems too thick.

I'd have to look up how thick a tortoise shell is but I think some are actually pretty thick. I think they use some sort of plate on the bottom of the turtle inside the shell actually if my memory serves me right. I'll measure it shortly and look in to how thick turtle shells are.
I do know they make lockets and chains (well did make). Here is one such example.

I would imagine the pretty large sea turtles have pretty thick shells.

 

seaurchin

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,016
Oh my, it does look quite a bit like the tortoise locket listing you found on your own there.
 

stracci2000

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 26, 2007
Messages
5,381
Thats a useless forum with silly virtue signaling over what people do with their own stuff! Silly! Strange to hear their nonsense working its way over here 3 party.
Again I say all this as lightly as possible and nothing personal towards you., truly.

Whats interesting is the pictures I posted show 2 pin tests and I assume you couldn't notice them b/c you mentioned you hoped I tested it in a non conspicuous area. I suppose it was fairly non conspicuous then so no harm done.

Wow! Sorry for spewing nonsense over here via the antiques forum, third party and all.
Mea culpa and all that.
And of course I saw the pin holes in your locket. But I was hopeful that you were not the one who made them.
 

Bonsai

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Messages
178
Wow! Sorry for spewing nonsense over here via the antiques forum, third party and all.
Mea culpa and all that.
And of course I saw the pin holes in your locket. But I was hopeful that you were not the one who made them.

again I do not mean to come off wrong. I simply dont understand why people get aggressive, upset or critical over what someone else does with their own stuff. I truly appreciate any helpful comments that answer the question.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
10,949
again I do not mean to come off wrong. I simply dont understand why people get aggressive, upset or critical over what someone else does with their own stuff. I truly appreciate any helpful comments that answer the question.

I think mostly its well meaning with love in their hearts for nice older jewlery and also just for wanting the best for people

There is a lot of bad advice out there and no one wants to see anyone's treasured piece damaged
 

stracci2000

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 26, 2007
Messages
5,381
again I do not mean to come off wrong. I simply dont understand why people get aggressive, upset or critical over what someone else does with their own stuff. I truly appreciate any helpful comments that answer the question.

I understand what you are saying. I "modify" my own jewelry all the time.
I try not to mess anything up, but sometimes I do. It's totally OK to do what you want with your own items.

Several years ago, my neighbor was tea staining some silk flowers for a floral display.
He wasn't sure the tea dip would work, or ruin the flowers.
Then he said to me "It's mine and I'll f*ck it up if I want to!"
I quote him all the time.
Words to live by.
 

Bonsai

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Messages
178
Yeah I get what y'all are saying and I appreciate the advice. I just didnt want this to turn ugly like it did on another forum, which was sad b/c there was no problems between anyone involved (like the seller).

I take these things and sort of weigh the risks. Is the pin prick or acid sometimes bad? yeah, but a lot of antiques are already damaged (such as this being chipped on the external edge) and lets be honest... if I wear this thing, which I might from time to time, its just as likely to get smashed or broken. The reality is a locket with moving parts is going to stop working at some point unless I quit wearing it and ehhhh.....I do like to enjoy them.

So if I can learn how to assess things in an area no one will see, it will help me make better decisions with more valuable things in the future (that are an need to be kept in pristine condition already) as well as assess the validity of the seller (such as if people here thought this was an easy to spot fake)

Thank you all very much again
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
10,949
Yeah I get what y'all are saying and I appreciate the advice. I just didnt want this to turn ugly like it did on another forum, which was sad b/c there was no problems between anyone involved (like the seller).

I take these things and sort of weigh the risks. Is the pin prick or acid sometimes bad? yeah, but a lot of antiques are already damaged (such as this being chipped on the external edge) and lets be honest... if I wear this thing, which I might from time to time, its just as likely to get smashed or broken. The reality is a locket with moving parts is going to stop working at some point unless I quit wearing it and ehhhh.....I do like to enjoy them.

So if I can learn how to assess things in an area no one will see, it will help me make better decisions with more valuable things in the future (that are an need to be kept in pristine condition already) as well as assess the validity of the seller (such as if people here thought this was an easy to spot fake)

Thank you all very much again

=)2
I must say compaired to other forums (non jewlery) ive been on people are really nice and freindly, polite and respectful around here =)2
I love that you are going to wear your piece =)2
 

MrsBlue

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 30, 2013
Messages
396
I would guess that burning shell from the hot pin would smell like burning hair, which does smell horrid but it's a distinctive kind of horrid and not at all like burnt plastic.

That smell would at least confirm it's an organic material.

I've burned a few threads from the inside of an old dress to confirm whether it was silk so this seems like the same thing to me. I did remove the threads from the dress first!
 

stracci2000

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 26, 2007
Messages
5,381
I would guess that burning shell from the hot pin would smell like burning hair, which does smell horrid but it's a distinctive kind of horrid and not at all like burnt plastic.

That smell would at least confirm it's an organic material.

I've burned a few threads from the inside of an old dress to confirm whether it was silk so this seems like the same thing to me. I did remove the threads from the dress first!

My sister bought an antique sofa, and the upholstery fabric was in question.
She snipped a bit of excess from the underside and held a cigarette lighter to it.....
confirmed horsehair! The smell is unmistakable.
 

Bonsai

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Messages
178
I would guess that burning shell from the hot pin would smell like burning hair, which does smell horrid but it's a distinctive kind of horrid and not at all like burnt plastic.

That smell would at least confirm it's an organic material.

I've burned a few threads from the inside of an old dress to confirm whether it was silk so this seems like the same thing to me. I did remove the threads from the dress first!

What is silk supposed to smell like?
 

ringo865

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 14, 2014
Messages
2,582
Probably burning turtle shell would smell like burning fingernail, which smells somewhat like burning hair, both of which I have self inflicted (accidentally). Burning plastic would not smell anything like either of those, so you likely have an actual “organic” material locket. It is a very interesting find.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
10,949
My sister bought an antique sofa, and the upholstery fabric was in question.
She snipped a bit of excess from the underside and held a cigarette lighter to it.....
confirmed horsehair! The smell is unmistakable.

Poo
i remember one time dear Tinky sat too close to the gas heater and his tail swished so close it touched the element and started to shoulder
I don't think he ever noticed but i rushed over to snuff it out - but poo the smell was yuck
 
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