Sara Smith | Photography by Jason Moore & Maui Master Jewelers
Wedding rings date back to the ancient Egyptians, who wove ceremonial bands of hemp, twigs or stems to symbolize unity and love. As culture evolved, so did the tradition, with the permanence of metals like gold and silver becoming de rigueur.
Today, many jewelry designers are taking a cue from ancient custom by looking to nature. Hawai‘i’s natural surroundings are an endless muse for these consummate artisans—and for couples looking to wed their affinity for the Islands with their lifelong symbol of love.
Reflecting Love’s Depth
Named 2005/2006 Designer of the Year by the Hawai‘i
Jewelers Association, Maui-born Gary Mukai crafts fine jewelry in his Wailuku studio. Anyone with a love for the ocean will appreciate Mukai’s signature Maui Wave Ring design, which won first place in the association’s Bridal Jewelry category. The band mixes 18-karat white and yellow gold, and polished and satin finishes, and as all of Mukai’s rings are custom made, brides can choose to set off the ocean theme with a solitaire, channel-set diamonds, or almost anything else they wish.
Precision Goldsmiths ~ 16 North Market Street, Wailuku ~ (808) 986-8282
Husband-and-wife jewelers Carol and Michael Schwarz have a synergy all their own. Living and working in the rain forests of Ha‘ik¯u, they incorporate the beauty of native flora into their Hawaiian wedding-ring designs. The bands are adorned with leafy garlands of maile and kukui, forged in white and yellow gold. The masterful open metalwork creates dimension. And although the distinctive leaf shapes provide ample adornment, the Schwarzes are happy to customize each ring—so feel free to add diamonds at will.
Maui Master Jewelers ~ 3655 Baldwin Avenue, Makawao ~ (808) 573-5400
A Story to Tell
On a beautiful Maui day, a young couple wed by simply exchanging maile lei at the altar. Upon leaving the church, they received the Hawaiian blessing of sparkling sun showers. It’s a story they never tire of telling. Later, the couple contacted custom jewelers Jennifer Binney and Jason Dow and asked the duo to create a unique wedding set for them. By designing the rings after the ceremony, Binney and Dow were able to capture the charming wedding-day story in their 18-karat gold bands: a hand-carved maile motif on both rings; on hers, small diamonds cascading down either side of a bezel-set diamond to represent gentle drops of rain. Do you have a story of your own to tell? Consider custom wedding rings.
Binney & Dow ~ 1033A Smith Street, Chinatown, Honolulu ~ (808) 722-3988