Our Most Popular Tortoise Color Accessories

Tortoise shell is a classic. It’s neutral. It’s an homage to the four-legged shelled creature but without the cruelty.

Tortoise color jewelry and accessories have been around since ancient times but have evolved from animal-harvested decoration for the elite only to stylish accessories worn by Hollywood stars in quality artificial materials to protect the endangered tortoise species.

Where does this classically elegant animal print come from? We'll dive into its origins and our most popular tortoise color accessories.

What is tortoise color?

Often called tortoiseshell, tortoise color jewelry, and accessories are characterized by an organic pattern speckled in neutral ribbons of browns, yellows, blacks, and beiges, mirroring the marbled pattern seen on a tortoise’s shell. (Hence the name!)

But animal lovers—there’s no need to worry. It’s illegal to use genuine tortoiseshell and has been since 1973 when the Endangered Species Act was passed. Now, tortoise color jewelry and accessories are manufactured using artificial materials, such as acetate and plastic, that imitate the real thing.

Historically, tortoise is known as a classic, elegant pattern that was first used by wealthy ancient Greeks and Romans to decorate furniture, stringed instruments, and accessories. In the 1920s, tortoise color eyeglasses became a stylish trend, as seen here on style icon Grace Kelly.

Tortoise has classically been considered a neutral pattern when used in fashion, similar to leopard print or zebra. Unlike leopard and zebra, however, tortoise color patterns are random and one-of-a-kind due to the nature of the manufacturing process.

What color is tortoise?

Because modern tortoiseshell is manufactured, tortoise color jewelry and accessories come in all colors of the rainbow. However, the most classic tortoise color is made of realistic-looking browns and yellows.

Classic Tortoise

Modern creativity has upgraded the classic tortoise, making the “what color is tortoise” question difficult to answer. Now, tortoise color is all shades of oranges, pinks, blues, and even incorporates different patterns.

Our Most Popular Tortoise Color Jewelry and Accessories

Tortoise Color Earrings

Our tortoiseshell earrings come in all shapes and sizes of hoops and studs and a range of tortoise colors like the classic tortoise, blonde tortoise, and even a light tortoise stripe pattern. Our classic Mini Hoops are one of our top-selling classic earrings, while the Sculpture Studs are a must-have for your jewelry box.

We introduced a modern tortoise earring style with our Gem Link Earrings, pairing colored gemstones with metallic hoops and tortoise acetate hoops to create a personality-filled option for those who want something slightly different than the traditional earring styles. Similar styles, like our XL Chunky Link Hoops, are a showstopper.

Tortoise Color Bracelets

If you’re just dipping your toe into tortoise, try the Collage Link Bracelet, which marries silver, gold, and tortoise into one stylish wrist accessory. For a bit of a statement on your wrist, our Jumbo Cuff is just the ticket.

Tortoise Color Eyewear

As seen on the Old Hollywood superstars and socialites of yesteryear, tortoise eyewear is a classic that’s never going away. Not only do we have the classic but spunky cateye Suzy Sunglasses in tortoise shades, but we also let you bring the eyewear inside with classic tortoise Reading Glasses and Blue Light Frames. And for those favorite pairs of glasses that you want to keep close to the vest, add a Chunky Sunglass Chain for over-the-top tortoise.

Tortoise Color Hair Accessories

Blondes, brunettes, redheads, and grays—it doesn’t matter what shade your hair is today, you’ll love pairing our tortoise color hair accessories with every outfit or as a special accessory on your vanity. 

To adorn your hair, stock up on our French Hair Pins, Mini Claw Clips, and Heirloom Clips. For those who love tortoise accessories but don’t want to wear them, we offer all-new Hair Brushes in three different sizes, Hair Combs of varying sizes, and Mirrors to check flyaways—all in your favorite shades of tortoise.

How do I style tortoise color?

There’s no limit to incorporating tortoise in your closet. What color is tortoise to you? Is it neutral, or do you see it as a classic pattern? It can be mix-and-matched with stripes, polka dots, or florals and made even edgier in new, chunky silhouettes like link bracelets and hoops.

Because of its primarily neutral composition, styling tortoiseshell accessories can be easy! If your wardrobe leans traditional and elegant, the classic tortoise color is easy to pair with neutral colors like a little black dress, a cardigan and denim, or even a colorful pastel blue skirt.

For those whose wardrobes stand out in a crowd, tortoise can be shown off in a statement look by pairing an unexpected tortoise color (like vibrant green) with an edgy leather jacket or a colorful denim jumpsuit and sneakers.

How do I care for and maintain my tortoise color jewelry and accessories?

As a classic wardrobe staple that has yet to go out of style, it’s important to care for your high-quality tortoise jewelry and accessories to ensure they last for a long time!

To clean or polish tortoise color acetate, dampen a soft cloth with water and mild detergent. Gently rub the cleaning solution on the material to remove dirt, dust, or other material (like hairspray or leftover lotions) until the acetate is polished.

Store tortoise color jewelry in a jewelry box or covered storage when not in use to avoid discoloration, fading, and dust. Tortoise accessories, like eyewear and hair accessories, should be stored in a structured container (rather than thrown in your purse) to avoid damage to the delicate acetate.

Try to avoid wearing your tortoise color jewelry in water and baths or when applying body oils, lotions, and hairspray. Avoid bleach, paint, and harsh chemicals.

While true tortoiseshell originally came from real, harvested tortoise shells, we’re proud to bring the pattern to modern style lovers through mindfully made, responsible designs and heirloom-quality materials made of natural and renewable cellulose acetate and bio-acetate. As a responsible accessory owner, you’ll be proud to show off your MACHETE tortoise, and believe us; you’ll get a lot of compliments too.