Who would ever shell out 2000 bucks for a necklace made of seashells? If you're thinking tacky beach- shop
puka jewelry, think again. Islanders from Hawai'i's Forbidden Island of Ni'ihau devote years to making one shell lei or necklace.
Ni'ihau shell necklaces are intricate, labor-intensive works of art made from the teeniest of shells and sold at up to four-figure
prices. They are the only insurable shell necklaces in the world. The fact that only pure-blooded Hawai'ians can live on the
primitive island of Ni'ihau adds to the necklaces' mystique.
If you're looking for something less exorbitant, Hawai'i's shopping scene can abide. Still on the subject
of jewelry (is there any better?), gold pineapple charms whose shadow spells "aloha," (the Hawai'ian word for love as well
as hello and goodbye) on the wearer's skin makes a romantic statement. Leis made from the nut of the islands national tree,
kukui, make inexpensive trinkets to bring home.
Kona coffee, Reyn-Spooner aloha shirts, surfer Santa Christmas tree ornaments, grow-your-own lei trees, sarongs,
Jawaiian (Hawai'ian-reggae hybrid) CDs, intricate Hawai'ian quilts, and t-shirts dyed with local red dirt: Hawai'ian shopping
sprees have a style all their own. Ill tell readers where to find the best values and take them from the Oahu swap meet to
Waikikis legendary Kalakaua Avenue on mission.