In 1958, master divers Jack Ackerman and Larry Wembly went deep sea diving off Lahaina, Maui, and more than 200 feet below the surface, found something never seen before—Hawaiian black coral. The pair sold some trinkets from their dive shop until the following year when they met O‘ahu entrepreneur Cliff Slater. Thus, Maui Divers Jewelry was born.

“Hawaiian black coral is only found in waters between 150 and 300 feet deep off Maui,” says Cole Slater, executive vice president for Maui Divers Jewelry. “From the beginning, Maui Divers was concerned about sustainability so they partnered with the University of Hawai‘i to research the black coral, and adopted methods of selective harvesting, which ensured the the coral’s continued growth. They also worked with agencies to agree on ways to carefully harvest from selected sites to ensure a healthy environment.”

Hawaiian black coral is considered the most lustrous black coral in the world, and is featured in one of Maui Divers’ most popular collections, the Yin Yang collection. “It’s an eternal circle swirled into equal halves,” says Slater. “The Yin Yang symbol celebrates the Asian ideals of balance and harmony.” The pieces also include sparkling diamonds.

Customers can also select cultured Tahitian black pearls, South Sea pearls, Japanese Akoya pearls, freshwater pearls, Australian opals, diamonds, peridot and other gemstones. Maui Divers carries the most unique Hawaiian Heirloom featuring tri-color gold and exclusive award-winning Living Heirloom jewelry.

Maui Divers Jewelry offers a ‘forever guarantee’ that covers the workmanship and materials of every item forever, not just for the lifetime of the customer. “It’s great to know our jewelry gets handed down generations and we’re still here to take care of the products,” adds Slater. “We’re honored every day to be part of visitors’ Hawai‘i experience.”

Visit Maui Divers Jewelry at their Līhu‘e locations at Anchor Cove and inside Hilo Hattie.

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