Modern Hawaiian Jewelry
Modern Hawaiian jewelry has a special significance. It not only tells a story, but it can also preserve family history. Some people order pieces that are custom-made to represent their family tree. They do so to remember their ancestors and their traits and facts. In this way, they can remember their loved ones even after they have passed away.
Thom's Lehua modern Hawaiian jewelry is elegantly handcrafted from precious metals. Each piece features intricate patterns and gleaming surfaces. Each piece is individually signed by the artist. Thom's jewelry is perfect for a variety of occasions, including business meetings and special occasions.
Queen Lili'uokalani's gold bracelet
A modern Hawaiian gold bracelet inspired by the ancient Hawaiian king's gold bracelet is now available to the public. The design incorporates Hawaiian plants and flowers. The bracelet is also engraved with Hawaiian words. Wearing this type of jewelry connects you to the Hawaiian monarchy and to the enduring beauty of the islands.
The king of Hawaii, King Kalakaua, visited the Royal Courts of England and sent Queen Kapiolani to her Jubilee. She was gifted a gold bracelet, which was engraved with her name. The gift symbolized the friendship between the two nations. The bracelet soon became a cherished keepsake for the Ali'i. Queen Lili'uokalani requested more of the bracelets and commissioned goldsmiths to learn how to design Hawaiian jewelry.
This heirloom jewelry is often given as a gift during special occasions. In 1908, Queen Lili'uokalani presented the gold bracelet to Zoe Atkinson, an English teacher at the Pohukaina Girls School. Zoe Atkinson, an event coordinator for the Queen, became the envy of many young ladies.
Queen Victoria's gold bracelet
The use of Queen Victoria's gold bracelet in modern Hawaiian jewelery is a modern adaptation of an ancient royal heirloom. The bracelet has five links, each of which features nine diamonds. These diamonds were sourced from Queen Victoria's personal collection after 1838. The bracelet was a favourite of Queen Victoria, and was often worn in official portraits. Its flamboyant nature was never lost, and it has been passed down through several generations of Royals.
The use of mourning jewelry was popular in England after 1862, and soon caught on in Hawai'i. In 1887, the High Chiefess Lili'u Kamaka'eha of Hawai'i ordered a gold bracelet, which was engraved with the name of Queen Victoria in old English script. The bracelet soon became one of the Princess' most treasured items. This style of jewelry was influenced by the designs and styles of the time and has been incorporated into modern Hawaiian jewelry.
Queen Lili'uokalani's lauhala
The last monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii, Queen Lili'uokalani, was a powerful proponent of the native peoples and of women's rights. She also fought against American businessmen who wanted to annex the Hawaiian islands to the United States. Liliuokalani managed to retain the support of the native Hawaiian people, but the businessmen managed to overthrow the monarchy and install Sanford Dole as the president of the United States. The Hawaiian islands were annexed to the United States in 1898.
Queen Lili'uokalani's heirloom jewelry is primarily composed of gold bracelets with raised lettering. The bracelets were given to Queen Kapiolani and Princess Liliuokalani in 1887. It was later learned that mourning jewelry was often made with black enamel. This type of jewelry was later converted into mourning jewelry by Queen Victoria.
Traditional Hawaiian jewelry
There are many ways to make Hawaiian jewelry and a variety of different designs can be made from various natural materials. Cowrie shells, for example, are highly prized for their glossy exteriors and beautiful colors. Hawaiians have been making beads from coconut shells for centuries and can combine many different shades to create beautiful patterns. Bamboo is another natural resource that can be shaped into bracelets and necklaces. Thin reeds are bent into bracelets, while thick sections are cut and used as beads. The material is often coated with lacquer to improve durability and beauty.
Ancient Hawaiians regarded the honu sea turtle as an icon of endurance, grace, and navigation skills. This explains why many of Thom's pieces feature honu petroglyphs. They were sacred to the ancient Hawaiians, and Thom uses them to create beautiful jewelry pieces.