The history of Maui Divers Jewelry dates back to the mid 1960’s. Originally a dive shop, founded in Lahaina Maui, by Bob Y. Nakamura and his business partner Harold Brodnax.
The first retail shop the pair opened was called Hawaii’s professional divers and it operated mainly as a gear rental shop for local islanders. Though their main focus at the time was operating a dive shop, they also dove for shells which soon turned into selling shells and other jewelry items.
In 1968, Bob decided to take another chance on entrepreneurship and with his extensive knowledge of crafting lānia he established Hawaii’s Laniā store right next door from the Professional Divers Shop. It was here that he evolved his collection from just raw shells to crafting stunning hand-strung necklaces and other beautiful pieces of jewelry inspired by his Hawaiian culture – leading him to what is known today as Maui Divers Jewelry.
From their small beginnings in 1968, the business has grown exponentially over the years and eventually developed into one of Hawaii’s largest jewelry manufacturers with chain locations across Oahu, Kauai, Big Island and multiple chains on Maui island itself. To this day, each and every piece is made with quality craftsmanship just as it was when Bob Nakamura began making jewelry more than fifty years ago with each piece representing an individual part of Hawaiian culture.
Not only amazes people with its creations but also promotes well being within communities – investing money in schools, scholarship funds, financial aid, serving meals to those less fortunate while continuing to expand each year towards making more meaningful contributions both locally and globally.
The People Behind the Story
Maui Divers Jewelry has a long and interesting history. It started in 1958 when Harold “Hank” Doherty immigrated from Ireland to Hawaii on a whim.
Upon arriving, he settled in Lahaina and quickly met up with boat captains Big Jim Kile and Rapid Dave Nelson who were already well-known around the island for their independent pearling operations. Both of these men trained Doherty in the art of pearl cultivation and set him off on his way to forming what is now known as Maui Divers Jewelry.
Doherty eventually opened up a shop in Lahaina in 1961, where he sold pearls that had been harvested from the ocean floor by himself and his fellow divers. He also created jewelry pieces crafted from various gemstones, including diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.
In 1979, after learning lapidary skills from Albert Roblee (a local Maui artisan) Doherty began his famous line of specialty jewelry works featuring rare Hawaiian black coral designs. To this day, Maui Divers’ jewelry is still crafted by using traditional goldsmith techniques combined with inspiration drawn from Hawaiian culture and nature such as whales, dolphins, starfish, turtles, volcanoes, plumeria blossoms and more.
Continued Expansion & Innovation
In 1984 Don Clay was promoted to President of the company by Helene Q Leinani Doherty – Hank’s wife (who had recently inherited the business upon Hank’s untimely passing). This marked the beginning of a new era for Maui Divers by ushering in a time of expansion and innovation that saw them establishing flagship stores at major tourist sites like Pearl Harbor on Oahu Island.
Another major development came about when they began offering custom made jewelry services so tourists could actually have their own pieces created by hand while vacationing on the islands. From then until now – they have continued expanding into new markets both domestic and international – developing relationships with retail outlets throughout Hawaii but also operating over fifty stores across seven countries within US territories.
Alongside all this – Maui Divers continues its commitment to sustainability projects – partnering with local community organizations in an effort to better maintain Hawaiians environmental reefs and communities that help make up its unique heritage.
A Brief Timeline of Maui Divers Jewelry’s History
- The Beginning – 1962: The birth place of Maui Divers Jewelry was founded by Fred Massimino in Lahaina, Maui.
- 1964: The first pieces of jewelry were created in the workshop as a combination of Hawaii and Japanese designs to give them an East meets West allure.
- 1980 – 1994: Expansion of production allowed for them to expand their reach to more locations across the Hawaiian Islands.
Paragraph 1 Maui Divers Jewelry has a long history of producing beautiful jewelry on the island of Maui in Hawaii. Its beginnings can be traced back to 1962 when the founder Fred Massimino started the business in Lahaina, Maui.
From there he began creating pieces that featured both Hawaiian and Japanese design influences which gave them a special East meets West style not found anywhere else. This quickly grew popular both locally and beyond putting Maui Divers at the forefront of jewelry design trends on Hawaii.
Paragraph 2 In order to keep up with increasing demand they had over time, Massimino made it his mission to continually expand their production capacity across various locations scattered throughout the Hawaiian Islands between 1980 and 1994. Each branch was equipped with cutting-edge equipment allowing them to manufacture consistent high quality products that could easily be shipped off Island without concerns of damage during transit due to their packaging and sturdily built containers.
Such measures were necessary for customers far away from home who wanted a piece of Hawaii they could cherish that would last a long time.
Paragraph 3 Apart from that, Maui Divers standardized their buyer’s experience by offering certificates and warranties for each purchase insuring satisfaction regardless if one was buying online or while actually visiting the shop in person on the island itself. This added another level onto trust between both parties providing customers value for money no matter where they bought their jewelry from.
Furthermore they also added features such as free shipping, gift packaging, and discounts leading up to certain holidays so that customers would never have an excuse not buy themselves or someone else something special crafted carefully using only ethically sourced materials by skilled artisans who shared similar designs aesthetic inspired by many cultures around world.
Foundation of Maui Divers Jewelry
Maui Divers Jewelry has been a staple of Hawaii for over fifty years now. Established in 1959 on the beautiful island of Maui, they quickly became synonymous with ocean-inspired jewelry and gems.
Originally, the Maui Divers founders began their venture by diving around Hawaii’s coastline to collect pearls, coral and other gems that could be set into jewelry. The business soon flourished as more than just a family shop, becoming an iconic brand which can be found today across the country and beyond.
Success and Expansion of Maui Divers Jewelry
Maui Divers ventured outside of its core pearl business in 1965 when it opened its first store in Waikiki Beach, Honolulu. This began heavily expanding their presence within the Hawaiian Islands and significantly increased the customer outreach.
The addition of goldsmiths to create custom jewelry pieces that couldn’t be found anyplace else was also instrumental, leading to even larger success throughout the 1970’s decade. Similarly, custom desigend pendants proved to become immensely popular gift items both statewide and internationally during this time.
Innovations Throughout The Years
As modern technology innovated throughout the 80’s and 90’s centuries, so did Maui Divers Jewelry; employing high-tech 3D printing methods to elevate their designs as well as bringing greater accuracy through laser engraving techniques for personal customization. A major breakthrough for the company was introducing customizable online services with instant delivery in 1995, using state-of-the-art ordering software on their website – a leap well ahead of their competition at that time.
Taking inspiration from Hawaiian culture, they frequently introduce new lines such as ‘Honu Honu’ (a collection made from Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles) or ‘Kanani’, containing several gemstones plated with silver or gold designs molded around natural shells found nearby local beaches.
As one of Hawaii’s largest manufacturer of quality jewelry offerings available today, Maui Divers remains an important part of Hawaiian history for many generations.
Notable Achievements Of Maui Divers Jewelry
- Founded in 1959
- Expanded to first store location in Waikiki Beach 1965
- Introduced custom design pendants during 1970’s decade
- Employed high tech methods such as 3D printing & laser engraving throughout 1980’s & 1990’s
- Launched Online ordering services with instant delivery option in 1995
- Released research reliable Kanani stones Collection inspired by Hawaiian culture 2018
Crafting Original Designs
Maui Divers Jewelry began its journey in Hawaiian waters over 60 years ago. In 1958, four local divers started the company using skills they had learned as part of their outdoor exploration in the crystal clear waters of Hawaii. After learning how to create high quality jewelry from South Pacific shells and corals they decided to start making their own pieces for both locals and visitors alike.
As word spread, they eventually widened their audience by adding products crafted with Tahitian black pearls and Japanese Akoya pearls. The popularity of their original jewelry designs was a direct result of how skillfully they combined the beauty of these precious gems with the elegant creativity found naturally within Hawaii’s landscape and culture.
Over time Maui Divers Jewelry has gained success from both tourists visiting Hawaii as well as those individuals that are living across the globe. Every item still holds true to its original design concept – using only the finest quality materials coupled with creative expression that honors Hawaii’s heritage and effectively captures true Hawaiian sophistication.
This authenticity is reflected in an extensive array of earrings, rings, pendants, watches, bracelets, necklaces, cuff links and bolo ties which are crafted in 14K gold and sterling silver as well as pure titanium – all offering unique interpretations still inspired by Island life today.
The commitment to produce truly special pieces has set Maui Divers Jewelry apart over several decades; expanding far beyond its early beginnings as a small venture owned by four Kama’aina divers in seaside Garibaldi Village on Oahu. Now privileged to have 10 retail locations spread out around different Hawaiian Islands it stands proudly as one most recognizable brands while helping preserve the authentic spirit which intrinsically weaves through every piece – connecting them all together in meaningful ways.
The Early Years
Maui Divers Jewelry began its business in the early 1950s before the tourism industry was fully established in Hawaii. War refugee, and master jewelry maker Abraham Kawakami, who had been trained in his native Japan, founded the company with the idea that he wanted to bring timeless and unique pieces of jewelry to people visiting from around the globe.
He recognized that Hawaii had beautiful natural resources and used this to create one-of-a-kind pieces for tourists. By forging a relationship with sea life vendors and developing amazing partnerships with oceanographic institutes, Abraham took advantage of Hawaii’s fascinating sea life to craft some of the most spectacular pieces ever seen.
The Brand Takes Off In 1959, Maui Divers started working directly with pearl farmers on Molokai who provided a stable source of supply for pearls at that time, significantly decreasing their limitation as jewellery materials. Soon enough they developed a strong national presence and branched out into other stores across Hawaii so people from all over could purchase these valuable items.
Through word-of-mouth advertising, Maui Divers began receiving orders from mainland dealers for their captivating creations. They also opened up locations sponsored by tour boats which enabled customers to shop more conveniently while they were on vacation in Hawaii.
Continued Success Today, Maui Divers is nationally recognized as a reputable seller of Hawaiian jewelry and continues to be an iconic part of Hawaii’s shopping experience for visitors around the globe. Their mission has never changed: To provide beautiful one-of-a-kind jewelry made inHawaii using sustainable materials of superior quality with exceptional value at competitive prices.
Maui Divers now owns several retail locations allowing customers who are visiting on vacation or from nearby areas a convenient place to buy authentic Hawaiiana gifts they can treasure forever. Not only do they offer amazing souvenirs crafted locally made by professional jewelers but offer same day shipping through IslandPearlAndGemstone dot com so anyone anywhere can have authentic Hawaiian Jewelry shipped right to their door.
Reaching a Global Audience
Maui Divers Jewelry are Hawaiian heirlooms that have spanned the islands for generations. Founded in 1959, it was originally a small pearl and shell buying station. It has since become one of the most iconic and beloved manufacturers of jewelry in the world. Today, Maui Divers is an international brand with almost 7 stores throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
Maui Divers Jewelry took off when co-founder Mel Matsui saw potential for an international reach. As a master goldsmith, Mel Matsui had access to some of the biggest inspiration pools across the globe.
He opened up importing capabilities which allowed them to really diversify their product range and become a global force for high quality jewelry. By sourcing both raw materials and traditional techniques from all over the world, Maui Diver has created unique designs ranging from solid gold coins to intricate necklaces featuring delicate fire coral stones.
Over time, technology became more readily available to Maui Divers allowing them to further customize precious treasures imported from around the world as well as expand their production capabilities with state-of-the-art equipment such as 3D printers and computer aided design software programs like CAD CAM (Computer Aided Design Computer Aided Manufacturing).
Through modern adaptation methods, Maui Divers is able to create new collections using ancient symbols while still maintaining a strong connection with its roots and staying true to its commitment of creating exceptional jewelry pieces designed to last a lifetime or longer.
Globally Recognized Quality
Today, collections from Maui Divers Jewelry can be found not only in Hawaii but around the world which includes boutiques in cities such as Japan, Hong Kong Australia China among others. This speaks volumes about the authenticity and quality each piece exudes.
Each piece creates an emotional connection between buyers because of how they draw upon ancient Hawaiian culture through meaningful stories being retold time after time but now reaching far beyond just Hawai’s land mass by becoming globally recognizable artifacts of progressive expressionism.
The Expansion Years
Maui Divers Jewelry didn’t gain international recognition until the 1970s when they began to experiment with nature-inspired design. This spurred the transformation of Maui Divers Jewelry from a local manufacturer into international behemoth. During this time, they designed jewelry inspired by hand-painted art and natural stones such as jade, mother of pearl and abalone shells sourced from Hawaii.
As more tourists began to flock to Hawaii in the late 1990s, Maui Divers increased their range of jewelry encompassing designs inspired from Hawaiian heritage and traditions as well as those inspired by exotic locations around the world such as Tahiti and Fiji. To showcase these products, Maui Divers opened stores at all major airports in Hawaii.
In recent years, Maui divers has invested heavily in technology in order to stay competitive in the market place. They now offer online ordering directly through their website along with live video consultations for their customers where they can shop for unique pieces from the comfort of their own home. They have also implemented 3D printing technology across many of their stores which allows customers to create custom pieces quickly and accurately:
- Incorporated 3D printing technology into stores
- Live Video consultations available for customers
- Increased range and variety of jewelry on offer
- Opened stores at airports throughout Hawaii
- Introduced nature-inspired design elements
Award and Honors of Maui Divers Jewelry
Maui Divers Jewelry has been making stunning pieces of jewelry since the late 1960s. It was founded by two ambitious visionaries, Abe and Gail Rubin, who were passionate about both the Hawaiian culture and creating beautiful high-quality jewelry.
Using only authentic Tahitian cultured pearls, as well as gold and diamonds from ethical sources, they crafted unique pieces that blended Hawaiian culture with modern design. By 1971 Maui Divers Jewelry had opened its first retail location in Lahaina on the island of Maui.
Since its inception, Maui Divers Jewelry has been awarded numerous awards and honors for their excellence in crafting quality jewelry. In 2007 they won a prestigious JCK Jewelers’ Choice Award for best category/division winner in the Silver Fashion Group. The following year they were presented with a JCK’s Leaders in Sustainability award for humanitarian work in Tahiti providing resources to local pearl farmers.
In 2009, Maui Diver Jewelry was chosen by First Lady Michelle Obama as her official presentation necklace during her exchange with Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama’s wife at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan. This honor speaks to the quality of the jewelry that Maui Dive creates; it must have impressed Mrs. Obama if she chose it to represent America when meeting heads of state.
The presentation necklace also received much media attention stating it “captured her gracefully” during the visit to Tokyo according to a Washington Post article from 2009.
Maui Divers Jewellery continues to be a leader in the contemporary jewellers industry for their commitment to quality materials and craftsmanship combined with unique designs inspired by ancient Hawaiian culture and modern trends alike. They are respected throughout not only Hawaii but also internationally through their awards and recognitions over time representing American style and class around the world.
Maui Divers Jewelry Today
Maui Divers Jewelry is a world-renowned artisan jewelry company established in 1958 on the Hawaiian island of Maui. The company is credited with inventing Hawaiin Heirloom Jewelry, using traditional designs to reconnect generations and express culture through jewelry. In addition to their robust line of beautiful and timeless pieces, their commitment to quality, excellence, and service has made them a staple of Hawaiian jewelry for generations.
In 1958 George Arthur “Harry” Longacre opened the first store on Maui’s Front Street in Lahaina harbor. Harry was a talented craftsman and entrepreneur who used his background in metal smithing and design to create pieces unique to Hawaii.
After nearly six decades of crafting timeless one-of-a-kind masterpieces, the “Maui Divers Diamond Story” still stands as a cornerstone of high quality and exceptional service which customers have come to expect from its stores across the Hawaiian Islands.
The hallmark for Maui Divers Jewelry special collections are:
- An impressive selection of genuine gemstones
- Unmatched craftsmanship
- Exceptional customer service
- Each piece carefully handcrafted by experienced artisans
Maui Divers Jewelry has been endorsed by several major celebrities over the years, boosting the popularity and recognition of the brand. Most famously, Elvis Presley was spotted wearing various pieces from Maui Divers in both movies and photos.
The ‘King of Rock’ cemented his place in Hawaii by featuring Maui Divers jewelry in his films: Blue Hawaii (1961), Fun in Acapulco (1963), and Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966). The most iconic piece was a 14K gold manta ray pendant that Presley frequently wore around his neck.
The Hawaiian Connection
Maui Divers founder and at time CEO Mitch Mizuha was born and raised on the island of Maui into a family with a deep love of scuba diving and appreciation for the ocean-side environment. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to eventually open up various shops selling silver jewelry crafted from shells found off shore.
Today, there are dozens of stores across Hawaii offering jewelry from Maui divers. In 1976, Mizuha began using precious metals to craft more refined designs which were intended to reflect the natural beauty found in the waters surrounding Hawaii.
In recent years, Maui Diver’s have greatly expanded their product line to include various watches, pens, sunglasses and other items featuring distinctive Hawaiian designs like turtles, sunsets, palm trees etc Furthermore, they also now offer custom-made rings set with loose diamonds sourced directly from conflict-free suppliers located in Antwerp. These additions have allowed members of all budgets and preferences make their own unique statement through individual styles of jewelry or accessories created by Maui Divers Jewelery.
Maui Divers Jewelry’s Legacy
Maui Divers Jewelry is a local business that has been designing and manufacturing Hawaiian inspired jewelry on the island of Maui since 1959. It all started when two couples, Della and John Steinwall, and Alan and Virginia Robinson, had a vision to bring beautiful handcrafted Hawaiian jewelry to the world. The first workshop was built in Lahaina underneath the Old Lahaina Public House and it quickly became known for its high quality pieces.
Since then, Maui Divers Jewelry has grown and expanded with multiple stores across Hawaii as well as a few mainland locations, but still remains dedicated to its origins of providing handmade works of art focused on incorporating Hawaiian culture and heritage into each piece. Customers are attracted to the company’s commitment to craftsmanship, originality, quality products and customer service focus.
Here are some other key points in Maui Divers Jewelry’s history:
- In 1968, they opened their first store at Whalers Village in Kaanapali.
- In 1973, they opened their flagship store right next door to their original workshop location under the Old Lahaina Public House.
- In 1990s they joined forces with Kilauea Volcano Art Center to form the largest locally owned retail organization in Hawaii.
- In 2010 they launched Diamond Nau Collection featuring solitaire diamond engagement rings each set in four-prong Tahitian pearl head setting patented by Maui Divers Jewelry.
As Maui Divers Jewelry continues expanding it still holds true to its mission of creating exquisite designs that capture the beauty found in nature. As a celebration of Hawaii’s past present and future many pieces incorporate designs from ancient kaanis (Hawaiian gods) or symbols depicting traditional Hawaiin mythology as well as rare materials such as volcanic glass, fossilized ivory shells or exotic woods from Africa.
They also design modern collections that highlight today’s trends including break away pendants with three individual selections with no lanyards included; along with watches bracelets necklaces earrings sets of jewelry adorned with gemstones pearls silver gold – plated 14K gold ready-to wear gifts.
Contribution to Hawaiian Culture
In 1968, Maui Divers Jewelry was founded by the Akinaga family on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. Known for their traditional coral cutting technique and design, they have captivated generations of Hawaiians with their breathtaking collections.
As one of the oldest jewelry companies in Hawaii, Maui Divers’ commitment to innovation is unparalleled. Not only do they create their jewelry collection but also develop rare materials from salt water and fresh-water pearls, corals, and shells that are found in Hawaii’s abundant marine environment.
Maui Divers has made significant contributions to Hawaiian culture over the years through their intricate designs that showcase their intricate coral cutting techniques and represent Hawai’i’s most treasured islands, ocean, beaches, and volcanoes. Their pieces highlight the vibrance and beauty of an abundance of cultural values; both past and present.
Their necklaces feature symbols such as the ‘ohana turtle which represents family unity or a water wave symbolizing the bounty of abundance provided by nature. This includes representing gods and goddesses including Lono (the god of fertility) through hand-sculpted parts modeled after examples from ancient shrines along with hula dancer figures which boasts themselves as protectors against ill fortune.
The company is also well known for its theatrical Pearl Extravaganza show which guests can attend on Fridays at The Shops at Mauna Luan located on Waikiki Beach Walk in Honolulu where they can witness a full demonstration of goldsmithing techniques that emphasize coral cutting accompanied by interactive storytelling about divers exploring Hawaii’s beautiful oceans to search for precious pearls.
In addition to this performance guests get to experience live entertainment, complimentary champagne and desserts while participating in raffle prizes with purchases made during the show going directly towards keiki charities – part of Maui Divers vow to “Weave Aloha into Everything We Do”.
Thus making it evident why it has become one of Hawaïin culture’s favorite artisan jeweler over the years with its iconic commitment towards tradition fused with modernity creating timeless pieces that makes them truly unique throughout world recognize today.
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