How much are Niihau shells worth?
With an official notary, Niihau shells can be evaluated based on its strain and style of stringing. Some Niihau shell leis have been known to be valued for up to $20,000. The value of a Niiahu shell lei is calculated based on its uniqueness, color, type of shell, and how clean the shell is.
Are Niihau shells rare?
These shells are very unique, and they are found only on the island of Ni’ihau. The Ni’ihau shell lei are extremely valuable because of the painstaking detail and amount of work that goes into finding the shells, sorting, and organizing them, then stringing them delicately in intricate, decorative patterns.
How can you tell if a Niihau shell is real?
Shells are generally identified by first indicating the kind of shell, such as kahelelani, momi, lāiki, etc., and then adding any qualifying terms, usually relating to color. Common colors are ke’oke’o (white), ‘ākala (pink), lenalena (yellow), and ‘ōma’oma’o (green).
Can you stay on Niihau?
There are no shops or restaurants on the island, no electricity, no paved roads, no cars and no hotels. So in other words life is very simple. People get around by bike and on foot. The island of Niihau encompasses 70 square miles and it is located 18 miles northwest of Kauai.
What is the rarest shell in Hawaii?
The rare and highly valued shells (kahelelani, laiki, momi, and kamoa), are found on the beaches of Ni’ihau and crafted by the island’s residents into various styles of lei, earrings, and bracelets, equaling one of Polynesia’s most precious art forms.
What are kahelelani shells?
The Kahelelani shell is the most sought after of the rare Niihau and Kauaian shells. It is the smallest and therefore the most difficult to collect and string. The Kahelelani is also the most colorful shell used in Niihau and Kauaian shell leis.
Is there surf on Niihau?
On the horizon is Niihau, where only full-blooded Hawaiians are permitted to live a traditional existence with no electricity, no phones, no cars, no roads, no hotels…but there is surf!