All About Tortoise Shell Guitars

tortoise shell guitar
tortoise shell guitar

Depending upon your experience with musical instruments, there is a wide range of guitars that you can choose for your art. The best practice while picking a guitar is to ask the employees at the instrument shop to let you try different models.

That way, you are free to experiment with different variants, and you don’t have to worry about wasting money on a guitar that does not compliment your style. From classical acoustic guitars to modern electric guitars, give every model a try before making your mind.

We have recently noticed many users wondering about the legality of buying tortoise shell guitar and using them. This is why we will be going over this topic extensively to give you a better understanding.

Tortoise Shell Guitar

Even though tortoiseshell guitars might look attractive, it can be illegal to purchase or sell them if they were manufactured after the late 1970s. Due to the restriction on trade in the late 1970s, it became illegal for people to create products using tortoise shells.

The primary reason for this restriction was that the increase in the use of tortoiseshell endangered different types of tortoise species. This is why the government had to step in and restrict the trade of these items for every user.

Due to this restriction, the price of existing tortoiseshell guitars skyrocketed as they were now being considered antiques. These types of guitars are scarce, and it can cost upwards of several thousand dollars just to get your hands on a certified tortoiseshell guitar.

However, you need to make sure that you also acquire proper documentation and evidence that proves that your guitar is legitimate. That way, you won’t be penalized with an enormous fine.

In some regions, people have been punished with home arrest, jail time, and thousands of dollars in fines illegally buying tortoiseshell guitars. So, to stay on the safe side, we recommend that you distance yourself from any supplier trying to sell you this guitar. It won’t only cost you thousands of dollars in premium, but you also risk getting jail time for this purchase.

The only thing good about this guitar is the attractive design and beautiful texture on the back. Aside from this, you don’t get any enhanced sound quality, and there are many great brands in the market the bring better value to the table.

So, if you wish to buy a phenomenal piece that will help improve your art, then visit your nearest instrument shop to get your hands on a premium acoustic guitar. The performance of a premium acoustic guitar will surpass any tortoiseshell guitar that you find on the market.

However, if you don’t have to worry about the budget and want to buy a tortoiseshell guitar to add to your collection, get an expert to verify the purchase. Doing this will help you avoid fines and stay out of jail. Aside from tortoiseshell guitars, it is also illegal to own a turtle shell pick. All in all, you should keep yourself safe from any purchase that is related to tortoiseshell guitars.

Are Tortoise Shell Guitars the Best?

The answer to this question is not that simple, and you need to look towards things like your playing style and experience. Even if you’re an expert, some phenomenal steel-string guitars on the market will provide you with the same or even improved sound quality compared to tortoiseshell guitars.

This implies that there is no need to go out of your way to get your hands on a tortoiseshell guitar if you’re worried about the sound quality. These days many brands have surpassed the quality and aesthetics of a tortoiseshell guitar.

The primary reason most people look towards tortoiseshell guitars is to increase their collection by adding an antique item. This also enables them with bragging rights in front of other guitar enthusiasts.

Aside from this, there is no reason why someone would spend thousands of dollars just to get an item that can cause him severe punishments like jail time. There is not a single benefit associated with a tortoiseshell guitar that will help you improve your art. So, if you’re just a guy looking to refine his skills, buy a premium acoustics guitar with steel strings.

Should You Buy Tortoise Shell Guitar?

If the aesthetics and bragging rights of owning a tortoiseshell guitar are worth more than the risk of going to jail, then, by all means, you should blindly invest in this item. The only way to keep yourself completely safe is by not making the purchase.

However, you can still shield yourself to some extent by acquiring the necessary documents. That way, you will have some defense even if you get prosecuted after purchasing a tortoiseshell guitar.

Similarly, suppose you’re buying this for investment purposes and plan to sell it when the price appreciates. In that case, there is a good chance that the government might ban trade on the pre-existing tortoiseshell guitars to discourage this act further.

So, this is not a safe investment in any scenario and can cost you thousands of dollars. Moreover, it is pretty challenging to attract a buyer for items like these.

To Conclude

Tortoiseshell guitars are one of the most aesthetic music instruments that you can acquire. However, since 1977 trade of tortoiseshell items has been restricted by many governments. This means that buying or selling any tortoiseshell guitar is illegal, and you can face jail time along with a hefty fine if you’re found to own a tortoiseshell. If you want to keep or buy this guitar, you’ll have to ensure that you have evidence and documents that prove this guitar is legitimate.

So, to stay safe, we suggest that you avoid any suppliers that try to sell you this item. If you’re looking for quality sound, many great brands offer exceptional musical instruments. You can just visit your nearest instrument store and ask an expert to help you find the perfect guitar that compliments your style. Hopefully, this information will help you make a better decision about your next purchase.


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