Help identifying the beads in this necklace

I am waiting for this new necklace to arrive but couldn’t wait to see it in person. It was listed as NA tortoise and turquoise with silver beads. 25.5” long. It looks legit to me but the longer I look the more I wonder about the tortoise beads. I’ve only ever seen tortoise in heishi and these are bigger. The seller did go out and send me extra pictures taken in the sunshine and they are brighter. I had one friend suggest that it might be horn. The necklace seems to need a good cleaning and I can’t decide. I do know that I’ve never run across another like it. I would appreciate any information that you may have. Thanks for your help.


Pretty necklace.
There is some really good imitation shell beads out there now.
The best way to determine if they are real, is the hot needle test. The shell will melt a little and smell like burning hair.

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I think I may have worded my question wrong. Do you know if tortoise shell can be made into discs this big (and there is only the quarter for comparison). I own tortoise heishi but I’ve never seen it in discs. Also, if it is heavy (no weight mentioned) I will be more inclined to think horn or something else. Have you ever seen a necklace similar? Doesn’t it have a Santo Domingo look?

I agree it has a Santo Domingo look. I know very little about tortoise shell, except I think it’s illegal to use now? So I’m assuming if it’s tortoise it would be an older piece?


Yes it would. I believe the ban started in 1973. I also don’t know if there may be a hallmark hidden somewhere. None were mentioned.

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Absolutely @Islandmomma . Tortoise shell has been made into many forms. The only problem with a hot needle test is to be sure it stays hot enough when you touch it to the piece. But by the look of it and if it’s light it’s likely horn or turtle shell.


horn gets my guess also and here is one slightly similar id’ as horn also

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Thanks. I’m pretty sure I can tell when I see it in person. And thanks for reminding me to have everything in place before heating the needle. I also appreciate the horn listing. I think I’ll check it out and see if there are some brighter light pictures.

UPDATE: The necklace arrived and it is definitely horn I sat on the porch and looked at it in the daylight. I will add several other pictures. I’m pretty certain that it is Santo Domingo.