Creating a traditional gold Hawaiian bangle bracelet with name - the process and what to consider before buying


The quality, and the price, of Hawaiian Jewelry made today can differ dramatically. With most pieces on the market either mass-produced, machine engraved or simply prefabricated abroad just to be supposedly “hand finished” in Hawai’i, there are fewer and fewer artisans that remain to preserve the traditional ways of the original bracelet, “Hoomanao Mau” (A Lasting Remembrance). 

So, what is the process and some of the factors that can determine whether your Hawaiian Jewelry piece ends up being a short love affair or a relationship that lasts a lifetime to then be passed on to the next generation?

Creating an authentic Hawaiian bangle begins with the karating process for gold or platinum. The mixture is melted, rolled and or casted in the fabrication department or hand fabricated by a bench jeweler.  

The key consideration is the weight of gold from which the piece is created. 

The gold standard for Hawaiian Heirloom Bracelet is the extra thick, heavy weight gold with a thickness of 2mm. Not only this is truthful to the original Hawaiian bracelets worn by Queen Lili'uokalani, but essential for the deep engraving, and one that resists scratches and wear. The extra thickness of gold allows for potential re-engraving in future. The actual thickness of a finished piece will depend on the type of design and engraving applied.

The heavier weight of a piece will also positively affect how it hangs and moves with your hand (take notice next time you watch a traditional Hula dancer). By comparison lightweight gold will feel and look flimsy and cheap. 

During the next stage of production, the letters and designs are sized to the individual piece for the proper perspective and harmony. They are then cut by hand or machine to the customer’s specification. Your name, initials or a chosen Hawaiian phrase can be added to the piece using contemporary or traditional (for example Aloha Oe) style lettering. The lettering can be Raised, Enamel, Raised/Enamel or Raised with Enamel outline. 

The original Hawaiian bracelets featured glass enamel lettering. And this is the only enamel type worth using. 

If the Enamel lettering is your preference, avoid the inferior, yet common, epoxy or ceramic enamels. These will compromise the piece’s durability and quite often the enamel may peel off and will need to be reapplied. On the other hand, vitreous glass enamel is much stronger and ensures long lasting wear. In the production stage the glass enamel is meticulously heated with a hand torch to its "flow" temperature (1400 degrees) and fused into gold. The finished enamel should be smooth to the touch with clean edges.

Glass enamel is another reason for the extra thick gold. It should not be used in the lighter weights, as the glass will crack, and chip out of the letters. 

While historically the enamel inscriptions were in black (signifying "constancy"), you can also choose colored enamel to personalize the piece. 

What transforms the Hawaiian Jewelry piece into a piece of art is the hand engraving.

The intricate Old English scrolls, traditional Maile or romantic Plumeria and Hibiscus flowers are skillfully hand engraved into the gold or platinum wire, creating one-of-a-kind patterns. Done the same way as it has been for centuries, with steel gravers guided by the master craftsman’s steady hand, the engraving gives the piece its incomparable character. 

The artistic skill of the engraver is one of the key factors that sets apart the traditionally made Hawaiian bracelet from the very common ‘production scroll’ (the same, machine-like pattern repeated over and over) applied to most of today’s high-street Hawaiian Jewelry pieces.  

After the engraving, the piece moves to polishing and scratch removal stage. This is also done by hand to ensure the proper shine and perfect completion to each finished piece. 

Finally, the inside or backside inscriptions are added by hand or by machine, to bring an added emotional quality to the piece that is now ready to become your and your family’s heirloom, “A Lasting Remembrance” to treasure for years to come.

Find out more about The History of Hawaiian Jewelry here.


伝統的なゴールドのハワイアン・バングル・ブレスレットを作る - そのプロセスと、決断する前に考慮すべきこと。

 ハワイアンジュエリーの品質と価格は、現在では大きく異なります。大量生産されたもの、機械で彫られたもの、海外でプレハブ加工されたものなど、ハワイで "手仕上げ "されたように見えるものが市場に出回っている中、オリジナルのブレスレット "Hoomanao Mau"(永遠の想い出)と同じような伝統的な製造方法を守る職人も少なくなってきている。






 製造の次の段階で、文字とデザインは、適切な遠近感と調和を保つために、個々の作品に合わせてサイズ調整されます。その後、お客様のご指定に合わせて、手作業または機械でカットします。お客様のお名前、イニシャル、ハワイ語のフレーズなどを、現代的なレタリング、または伝統的なレタリング(例えばAloha Oe)で作品に加えることができます。レタリングは、レイズド、エナメル、レイズド/エナメル、レイズド/エナメル・アウトラインのいずれかをお選びいただけます。











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