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Given to signify respect and honor, according to Hawaiian tradition maile was the lei for people of all classes and all occasions. The maile is a long lasting lei and probably the oldest and most popular material used in lei by early Hawaiians. The native Hawaiian vine with shiny fragrant leaves, is often associated with Laka, the goddess of Hula and in ancient Hawaii, the maile was also considered a peace offering in the field of battle. Known to many as the “lei of royalty,” the maile lei is noted for its rarity and considered by many to be the finest of all leis. It is unsurprising then that this significant lei eventually found its way engraved onto Hawaiian Heirloom jewelry pieces.

Old English scrolling began on the monastery pages in Medieval Europe and eventually became a hand-engravers art for decorative work. Brought by European jewelers relocating to Hawaii, these scrolling patterns came into wide use in Hawaii during the Victorian Era when trade goods and styles brought in from England were the height of popular culture. Incorporated into Hawaiian Heirloom Jewelry, the scrolling patterns evolved to rolling leaf and curl designs to better compliment the existing soft Hawaiian floral patterns.

Plumeria blossoms were first introduced to the Hawaiian Islands in the mid-1800’s. With their intoxicating fragrance and vivid colors, these flowers quickly found their place in Hawaiian culture and became a lei-making favorite. Once engrained in Hawaii’s daily scene, the plumeria’s simple but easily recognizable design soon permeated Hawaiian style. Jewelers began using the flowers in simple jewelry and eventually incorporated the blossoms into Hawaiian Heirloom designs.

Harvested year-round, the bright hibiscus flower has become synonymous with Hawaii.Known in Hawaiian as pua aloalo, the yellow hibiscus became the official state flower of Hawaii in 1988.It is believed that there were originally only five hibiscus species native to the Hawaiian Islands. Subsequently, other varieties were imported, and growers began to develop unique hybrids to produce the variety of colors and sizes found today.Like plumeria, hibiscus became a popular design engraving for Hawaiian Heirloom Jewelry and remains one of the most popular designs to this day.