Hawaiian Jewelry History
Engraved jewelry with black enameled letters traces back to the days of the Hawaiian Monarchy when it was established through the friendship Hawaii had with England and their Queen, Victoria. As Queen Victoria had special jewelry made in honor of her late husband, Prince Albert, it also grew in popularity within the islands. In 1893 Queen Liliuokalani presented a gold enameled bracelet to Zoe Atkinson, headmistress at Pohukaina Girls School. The inscription on the bracelet read “Aloha Oe” -"farewell to thee" and an inside inscription which reads “Liliuokalani Jan. 5, 1893.” The inscription proved to be prophetic: Just days later, the queen was forced to abdicate her thrown and the Hawaiian Monarchy had come to a sudden end. The "Aloha Oe" bracelet is on display at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu.
The tradition has since continued throughout generations. Hawaiian heirloom jewelry is given as gifts for special occasions such as birthdays, graduations and weddings. Heirloom jewelry will last a lifetime, and is often passed from generations. It is considered an honor to receive such a precious, personalized gift.
Hawaiian heirloom jewelry remains a symbol of Hawaii’s monarchy period.