The history of Hawaiian jewelry is as rich as the jewelry itself. Before Hawaii became part of the United States, kings and queens ruled Hawaii. These kings and queens had developed a cordial relationship with England. Notably, King Kalakaua received a beautiful bracelet for his daughter, the Princess Liliuokalani in the year 1880 from Queen Victoria. The bracelet was stunning and engraved with black enameled lettering. Princess Liliuokalani was so infatuated with her gift she wore it every day for the rest of her life.
This gift enthralled Hawaiian citizens and a new style of Hawaiian jewelry was fashioned after this bracelet. The style of enameled lettering began to take on many colors, not simply black. Letters were engraved in pink, red, blue, and set into gold. The Hawaiian jewelry began to take on this style and it is still worn by Hawaiian residents today and has become a symbol of Hawaiian jewelry.
Hawaiian jewelry includes bracelets, rings, necklaces, and earrings. Many flowers native to Hawaii also adorn Hawaiian jewelry. Yet, it is still the simple engraved bracelets reminiscent of Hawaii's earliest jewelry gifts that have become heirlooms and carry the most sentimental value.
Many pieces showcase Hawaiian flowers such as Plumeria, Lei Aloha, Hibiscus, Bird of Paradise, the Hawaiian Pikake Flower, or Jasmine, Heliconia, Lei Ali I Puka. These flowers commonly adorn bracelets, earrings, necklaces, rings, and even ankle bracelets. Hawaiian native animals also adorn Hawaiian jewelry. Animals such as dolphins, sea turtles, Monk Seals, and starfish have all been featured in Hawaiian jewelry.
Hawaiian jewelry is known for its beauty, grace, and splendor. The heirloom pieces are examples of early 19th century England, and that may be part of the allure. A nice tradition is to have your name engraved in Hawaiian jewelry and enameled just like the bracelet