Royal Orders were awarded to individuals in recognition of merit or service by the sovereigns of the Hawaiian Kingdom, commencing with King Kamehameha V. The Orders are in the form of an elaborate medal called an insignia or decoration. King Kalākaua established four Hawaiian Royal Orders each with its own design.
To coincide with his plan for a confederation of Polynesian nations, Kalakaua instituted the Royal Order of the Star of Oceania to be awarded for service rendered in advancing the name and influence of Hawai‘i among the Islands of the Pacific.
The insignia is a five-pointed star in green and white enamel. The star has a shield in the center with the words KA HOKU O OSIANIA (the Star of Oceania) and directly below a beacon of light shining above the ocean. The beacon represented Hawai‘i as the guiding light of the Pacific.
In anticipation of Samoa joining the confederation, King Kalakaua awarded King Malietoa of Samoa the Grand Cross insignia of the Royal Order of the Star of Oceania.