about the materials

A guide to the materials that inspire us--the materials that make our jewelry look, feel, and wear the way it does.

Resins, derived from the secretions of various plants, have been prized and treasured since the days of ancient Egypt, when certain resins (such as amber) were first used as jewelry, and when others (such as frankincense and myrrh) were used as incense and medicine.

At PONO, we cherish resin for its malleability and infusability. Indeed, it absorbs and radiates just about any natural dye with sophistication and flair. In fact, throughout the 1950s, it was the dominant substrate for costume jewelry.


With their magnificently, kaleidoscopically variant colors, textures, and patterns, sea shells are in fact the exoskeletons of various types of marine life. What this means to us is that each shell is not just unique but imbued with its own consciousness.

While our particular manipulation of shell is relatively contemporary--and made possible by the precise, cautious techniques of our Italian manufacturers--the material has been used since antiquity for the purposes of adornment, music making, religious celebration, and far more.


Native Americans do not call them “trees” but rather “standing people”. Perhaps the first material manipulated by human beings for a variety of functional and ornamental purposes--everything from warmth and light to shelter and communication—wood captivates us with its richness, its distinctiveness, its layers achieved over time, in a manner that cannot be rushed.


At PONO, we only use horn that is of the highest quality, with each piece looking and feeling like a one of a kind master piece from Mother Nature.


For clasps, chains, and ornamentation, we use brass, aluminum, and stainless steel. While most jewelers take advantage of metal’s strength and malleability, PONO’s take on metallics is elemental, with a certain reverence for its weight, texture, and gleam.


A.B.S. resin is a highly unusual substance, one favored for thermal injection, three-dimensional printing, and even tattoo inks, in which they impart an unusually vivid stain, apparent on even the deepest skintones, without the toxic impact of previous ink technologies.

Perhaps the strongest substance used for jewelry relative to weight, A.B.S. resin allows PONO to create big bold shapes and forms that are light weight with metallic finishes.


SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS are manmade in Austria from natural minerals and quartz sand. They encapsulate all the beauty in the eye of the beholder, thanks to the purity, the precision cutting and perfect polishing of the crystals. The brand represents the rich cultural tradition of central Europe, and the ethics and technological innovation that are Swarovski hallmarks.