lolligagger said:I recently bought a Red Bear pick, which I believe is a synthetic tortis shell type of pick..
The "Red Bear" and "New-Tortis" are exactly the same thing. My understanding is that Dave Skowron of Red Bear acquired the rights to use a material known as TORTIS (or NEW-TORTIS) by John Greven. Mr Greven sourced/created the substance both for pickgards and picks. The pickgards are still the province of Mr. Grevin and are found on the best of guitars today. (Collings, Bourgeois, etc.) The pickgards and picks are both handmade items, hence the pricing.
Michel Wegen, another maker of picks, also produces some great items. virtually all Gypsy players use his picks. I tend to use one of his 2.5 mm picks for most of my playing.
I hope this helps.