Extremely rare and only found in one place in the world, these tiny delicate Niihau shells form a lovely and extra long necklace.
The double strands are strung in the "pikake" style and are comprised of hundreds of these even-colored beige shells that individually measure only 5mm in length.
The shells are collected on the sandy shores of Niihau island which is located off the coast of Kauai within the Hawaiian Island chain. The small island is privately owned by the Robinson family who purchased it in the late 1880's from King Kamehameha V.
Remote and secluded, Niihau is known as the "Forbidden Island" where time literally has stopped due to the prohibition of modern technology and conveniences.
Native islanders walk the beaches to collect the shells which are then sorted for size, quality, and color. Half of the shells that are selected for jewelry making are damaged in the piercing process indicating that this step is extremely tedious time-consuming.
The long 40" lei is secured at the top with a smooth cowry shell.
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