What is not to love about turtles? For starters they have been around some 220 million years making them the oldest reptile. Today we can find many varieties of turtles in zoos, have certain species as pets, and if we are lucky we might even spot one or some in their natural environment. Sadly, many species of these intelligent and playful reptiles are highly endangered. In order to pay respect and educate on this prehistoric creature, the American Tortoise Rescue founded World Turtle Day in 1990, and has sponsored it yearly since 2000.
In honor of World Turtle Day, we’d like to pay homage to these magnificent creatures as well as their influence on fashion. Whether it be purse handles, hair combs, jewelry, and our favorite EYEWEAR, tortoise print is everywhere. Much like the species itself, tortoise print has stood the test of time. So what goes into actually crafting a gorgeous pair of REAL turtle shell glasses?
The process of making turtle shell eyewear is a showcase of true craftsmanship. The Maison Bonet has been producing custom made turtle shell glasses by hand for four generations. The technique involves sorting though the shells and actually sculpting the shape of the eyeglasses. Some lucky owners of these eyeglasses include Yves Saint Laurent and Jackie Onassis. Each pair is made to order and the process by which they are created respects the natural cycle of the sea turtles. Because the turtles are never poached, this eyewear company pays homage to beautiful coloring these beloved creatures long after they have passed.
You can tell if a turtle shell is genuine or faux based on the craftsmanship. Real turtle shell almost always has to be handworked or at least hand finished. Because of the hardworking there is usually some imperfection visible on the design. A real turtle design will generally be a bit stiffer and heavier than say an acrylic design which is light and flexible. Genuine tortoise is no longer used in frame making so you can expect to pay a pretty penny for a vintage pair of tortoise eyewear. These “Jaspee Clair” frames have very unique coloring and are in great condition, and these rare eyeglasses can be yours for the bargain price of $4,499.00.