Our celluloid tortoise picks have excellent tonal balance, and great pick attack.

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So why do we call our Celluloid guitar picks “Tortoise Picks”, other than that handsome marble color they’ve got?

Well, years back, turtle shell picks used to be one of the most highly sought after piece of guitar gear, up until trafficking in turtle shell was made illegal in 1947. So, although a small black market still exists for the originals, the industry has long since moved on to find other materials that provide a similar sonic balance—in a more sustainable fashion.

We use celluloid in our Tortoise Picks. It’s a nitrocellulose-based plastic, formerly used for cinematographic film (and early on as a replacement for ivory), that is generally considered more difficult and expensive to produce than other plastics. Much like the tortoise picks of yore, our picks are carefully beveled to ensure a smooth and consistent playability, a quick pick attack, and a perfectly balanced tonality.

Overall, we’d say these picks are a bit brighter and crisper than our other POM picks. We only make them in a standard, classic shape for two reasons. First, that’s how they used to be made and we’re sticklers for tradition. Second, while this material is fairly durable in a classic shape, it doesn’t have the internal strength to last very long in sharper tipped shapes like our Jazz Picks or Jumbo Jazz Picks. It’s a bit of a bummer, but trust us, these work great just as they are.