Carefully handcrafted and inspired by a lifetime of travels to French Polynesia and deep respect for the culture and traditions of the islands.
Each unique piece is created with the intention of keeping a cherished memory of time spent on a favorite South Pacific island close to your heart.
This jewelry tells my story and it can tell your story too.
Richard Donaldson, a dive bomber pilot, cherished the the beautiful sunsets and the island rhythms of the South Pacific while stationed in various atolls in the Caroline and Mariana Islands during WWII.
Richard could not wait to return to the South Pacific with his wife and travelled to Tahiti the year the airport was opened in Fa'a in 1961. He fell... in love with Tahiti.
As a child, I had a special reverence for the beautiful shell carvings, fabrics, costumes, and vinyl music albums my parents brought home from Tahiti in 1961. I also coveted the old shell necklaces and handwoven fans my father acquired during his WWII military service in the South Pacific. During the 1960's and 70's, the soundtrack to my childhood included the music of Eddie Lund and his Tahitians and Martin Denny, specifically the Moon of Manakoora which played constantly on a reel-to-reel tape every lazy Summer weekend afternoon. My fascination with ancient Polynesian culture, dance, crafts, and wood carvings continued to develop over the years. It’s simply woven into my DNA.
All of my jewelry is Polynesian-inspired and handcrafted using sterling silver and a long acid-etching process. I use authentic tapa designs, vintage Taitian textile prints, tattoo art, with accents of blacklip mother of pearl shell and Tahitian pearls. Every piece is inspired by a lifetime of travels to the South Pacific and deep reverence and respect for the customs and traditions of the Islands. Hence the name…. Moni Tapu “Sacred Silver”
My father was also a jeweler, and his original belt-driven chrome hand drill and tools touch every piece of jewelry I make. Richard’s passion for the South Pacific has been passed down now for two generations - from daughter to granddaughter. If Richard only knew the significance of the legacy he left behind... I know he would be proud.
Saddleback College 2017 juried student art exhibition winner
For information on specials and upcoming events.
Click here to view Moni Tapu Jewelry Store
By appointment only