Hawaiian Jewelry – The Never-Ending Fascination


Aloha, ladies! ! Do you have a fondness for Hawaiian jewelry? Are you deeply fascinated by this beautiful nature-inspired jewelry style? 

From iconic plumeria necklaces to hibiscus pendants, Hawaiian jewelry is known for its designs and aesthetics. If you are one of those interested in buying Hawaiian jewelry online for your impending trip to Hawaii or a casual beachside party night, this blog is for you. 

But before you pick your favorite Hawaiian jewelry pieces, you should have some knowledge about the popular designs and their meanings.

So, let us explore this finest jewelry style in detail to make your selection super convenient and meaningful. 

History Of Hawaiian Jewelry

Hawaiian jewelry represents celebration and is often gifted on special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, graduations, and anniversaries. These jewelry pieces are an heirloom that is passed on to the generations. When you wear these treasured heirlooms, you become a part of all the tradition, magic, and pride of the Hawaiian culture. Such a timeless beauty this jewelry type is. 

But did you know when did it all start? Let’s explore some secrets about the history of Hawaiian Jewelry. 

Hawaiian Jewelry originated in England in the 19th Century during the Victorian Era. It was when Queen Emma & then Princess Liliʻuokalani were invited to Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee celebration, where the Queen & Prince welcomed her with bracelets with their names engraved. Gratified and inspired by the sweet gesture of her close friends, Queen Victoria & Prince Albert,  Princess Emma ordered a bracelet engraved with “Hoʻomanao Mau” (Lasting Memory) in old English in black enamel. She dedicated it to her friendship and wore it her entire life. That is how the bracelet became a beloved treasure.   

Taking the tradition further, Queen Liliʻuokalani, in 1893, gifted Zoe Atkinson, daughter of Alatau Tomchiboulac Atkinson, a gold bangle with “ʻAloha ʻOe” engraved in black enamel. Alatau Atkinson was the Principal of Pohukaina Girls School and the social coordinator for various galas at ʻIolani Palace. She presented the bracelet to thank Atkinson for her contribution.   

When Atkinson wore her bangle to school, the students were captivated. And soon, mothers began to order similar bracelets for their daughters. And since then, presenting these bracelets became a tradition. Until these bracelets were given as a birthday, graduation, or as a wedding gift to the daughters, mothers and grandmothers wore the bracelets themselves. That is how the legacy was born, which still continues today. 

Popular Hawaiian Jewelry Designs & Their Meanings

As simple as they may seem in their shapes, designs, or words, most Hawaiian things have meanings. Whether or not you are lucky to live in Hawaii, words like honu, makau fish hook, hula, maile, koa warrior, ohia lehua, and aloha have meanings that may surprise you. 

Below are given some short descriptions of Hawaii’s most popular jewelry designs. Learning their meanings will light your way to perfect Hawaiian jewelry according to the occasion. 

  1. Plumeria 

Plumeria or melia in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, as these are referred to in the Hawaiian language, is one of the most iconic flowers on the island. You would often see Hawaiian beauty wearing plumeria tucked behind the ear. It won’t be incorrect to say that these flowers represent the Island state. Ever seen traditional Hawaiin garlands or hair adornment? These are mostly made of plumeria flowers. 

The five elegant petals of the plumeria set in a simple yet beautiful symmetry are one of the most recognizable jewelry designs on the island. 

The bright color, lustrous scent, and appealing shape have made this iconic flower a ubiquitous aspect in transition lei-making. Plumeria flowers symbolize joy and happiness; hence are often used to embellish marriage rings, wedding bands, or special aloha gifts. 

Furthermore, the timeless design of this flower is often translated to designing plumeria necklaces or pendants. 

  1. Hibiscus

The hibiscus or the Ma’o Hau hele flower is a synonym for tropical paradises across the globe, especially in the Hawaiian Islands. Hibiscus is also the state flower of Hawaii that features an alluring floral design, which translates to a jewelry piece perfectly. 

Both Hibiscus and plumeria flowers are best known for their use as a traditional hair adornment.

  1. Sea Turtle

If there exists any creature that truly summarizes what it is like living in Hawaii, the sea turtle is a top contender. The laid–back honu or Hawaiian green sea turtle symbolizes longevity and good luck. In ancient times, sea turtles were named aumakua, meaning guardian spirits, and were admired for their endurance, grace, and navigational skills. Even today, sea turtles are considered happy omens. 

Sea turtles also have deep roots in the Island culture. Also, the teardrop-shaped carapace of honu makes it an inspiration for jewelry and accessories.  


Undoubtedly, Hawaiian culture is vibrant and deep-rooted. And that is why designers all around the world are deeply inspired by the grace, hues, and significance of this Island state. If you too feel inspired and want to grab a few pieces of Hawaiian-inspired jewelry, the internet is the best place. Explore your options and start collecting the best pieces that match your interests. 

Written by Megan Taylor
Megan is a beauty expert who is passionate about all things makeup and glam! Her love for makeup has brought her to become a beauty pro at Glamour Garden Cosmetics.