The Art of Filigree: Everything You Need to Know

The Art of Filigree: Everything You Need to Know

Filigree; one of the most delicate and exquisite types of metalwork with centuries-old history. The real craftsmanship and unique designs can be seen in intricate details of it and with its charming motifs and shapes filigree brings jewellery to life. The traditional work fascinates everyone who sees it. In this article, you will be captivated by the filigree’s deep-rooted history and the incredible handicraft that goes into it. 

What is Filigree?

As a form of sophisticated metalwork used in jewellery and other small forms of metalwork, filigree is delicate embroidery where threads of exquisite metal are twisted or curled into a design. Filigreen, the earlier use of filigree, derives from Latin words ‘filum’ meaning thread and ‘granum’ meaning grain. It is made with small beads or twisted threads; connected that create artistic and mesmerizing motifs. In many cases, craftsmen combine the small beads and twisted threads to create even more complex works. 

It is usually made of gold and silver. In jewellery, while gold filigree reflects the glory, silver filigree emphasizes modesty.


How the Filigree Art Started?

Filigree pattern reveals the old times. Even though it may seem like a modern time work, it was considered to be the ordinary work of the jeweller centuries ago.


Birthplace of Filigree: Mesopotamia

According to the archaeological findings that took place in ancient Mesopotamia, the filigree was used in jewellery since 3,000 BC. In upper Mesopotamia, specifically in Midyat in Mardin Province of Turkey, ‘telkari’ which is a form of filigree using gold and silver wires, was developed back in the 15th century. In Mardin, professional craftsmen are continuing producing ‘telkari’. 

Also in the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, a collection of Scythian jewellery from the tombs of the Crimea is exhibited. Among that jewellery, there are many filigree bracelets and necklaces that are made out of twisted wires or strings of large beads of gold and the shapes of the head of animals can be seen on the clasps.


Medieval Europe

There are many collections of medieval jewel work from the 6th to the 12th centuries made either in Constantinople or in monasteries in Europe. In those works, the imitations of Byzantine goldsmiths’ work can be seen. In addition to being enhanced with stones, these jewels are also decorated with filigree. Pieces of plaited work are usually seen on the covers of Gospel books or the panels of reliquaries pieces of plaited work. On Byzantine filigree work what at the forefront is the tiny precious stones among the curves or knots. All of these examples can be found in The Victoria and Albert Museum and British Museum in London.

Saxons, Britons, and Celts were quite skilful in terms of goldsmith’s work in North Europe. Filigree patterns on Anglo-Saxon tombs, a brooch, and a sword-hilt could be seen. Back in 2009, The Staffordshire Hoard of Anglo-Saxon which is gold and silver was discovered. It is estimated that the hoard is from 700 CE and it encompasses plentiful examples of incredible filigree.

In the Royal Irısh Academy in Dublin, there are several reliquaries and personal accessorizes that are decorated with filigree. Celtic brooch Tara is very well known in the region. What makes the Irish filigree different from the others is the fact that tracing the threads is almost impossible due to its complicated arrangements. The two ends of the threads are usually made to represent the head and the tail of a serpent.

Many of the medieval jewel work in Europe until the 15th century can be seen on reliquaries, crosses, croziers, and other religious works of goldsmiths. During the Middle Ages, Spanish people also practised the work of filigree and introduced it all over the Iberian Peninsula.


Iberian Peninsula

Dating back to 2000-2500 BC, the oldest filigree pieces were discovered in the Iberian Peninsula, yet it is considered that the jewels belonged to the merchants from the Middle East. In Portugal, the filigree was first produced in the 8th century when the Arabs immigrated to the region. Throughout the time new patterns of filigree were produced. As time passing Portugal started to have its unique imagery, motifs, and shapes. It is a tradition that is still going on in the country and their most iconic symbol is a filigree heart.


How Filigree is used in Jewellery?

Filigree work jewellery needs patience, delicacy, and craftsmanship. A jeweller connects tiny beads and twisted threads after working on the metal and shaping it in the desired design. In jewellery, filigree is a design that many people cannot resist choosing. 


Filigree Rings

Filigree rings are indispensable pieces that showcase your style. While creating your look you may want to have only one ring or have one in every finger of yours! With their unique motifs, filigree rings add a traditional tone to your style.

 Engagement Rings

Engagement rings are very special. It symbolises love. It is a promise to be together forever. 

For any bride who wants to have a unique ring that reminds her love of her life, filigree engagement rings are perfect choices. The delicate filigree on the ring will remind you of the bond you have with your significant other.

 Statement Rings

Statement rings are quite larger than normal rings. It is an amazing opportunity for anyone who wants to express their styles and personality through their jewellery. They are very powerful pieces that add another dimension to your style.

With their glamorous designs, filigree statement rings whether gold or silver combines modern and tradition. 


Signet Rings

Also known as seal rings, signet rings are unique in style with symbols or letters engraved on them. They have usually something personal on them to represent the wearer.



Filigree motif on a signet ring showcases a real hard work and is the perfect accessorise the signify your character.




 Diamond Rings

Diamonds are iconic gems that are especially used in wedding rings. From its cut to its carat many factors make diamond rings unique. 

Filigree diamond rings are very special rings in which classic stone combines with the real work of craftsmanship

Filigree Band Rings 

Band rings are pieces that are simple yet sophisticated. As a ring given at the wedding ceremony, it symbolizes the marriage.

Simple band rings gain a new sense with a filigree motif. Filigree band rings are unique pieces that will make you feel special with their different styles from traditional wedding rings.


Filigree Necklace

A filigree necklace is a true finishing piece for any outfit. Depending on the neck of your clothes, stylish necklaces have the power to complement your outfit.


Pearl Necklace

Pearl necklaces are the perfect way to reflect your elegance. As must-have pieces, pearls are the symbols of nobility and purity.

When the filigree motif is added, a pearl’s noble look gains a traditional dimension.

Collar Necklace

A collar necklace is a voluminous necklace that is just below the throat covering it like an apron.

As a spectacular piece, the artwork of filigree can be very well seen on a filigree collar necklace.


Choker Necklace

A choker necklace always fits with the piece you wear, regardless of style or design. Wearing a necklace very close to the neck gives an incredibly impressive look to the neck.

Especially silver filigree choker necklaces add a mysterious touch to your look.

Filigree Pendant Necklace

The small piece of jewellery attached to the chain with different designs and styles has the ability to enhance any look.
Pendants with filigree motifs draw attention to the incredible handmade details and highlight your difference.  

Medallion Necklace

Centuries ago medallion necklaces would wear to showcase wealth and status. They are simple and beautiful pieces that work well with many outfits.

Usually, on filigree medallion necklaces one side is made by filigree art with its fine craftsmanship. 

Filigree Earrings

Whether they are small or big pieces, filigree earrings add movement to your look. They are easy pieces that can take your daily style turn into an evening style.

 Stud Earrings

Stud earrings are perfect pieces for everyday use. Although they are quite simple they add a romantic vibe to your look.

Even though they are small accessories, filigree stud earrings display exquisite motifs very well. 

 Ear Crawlers

Ear crawlers are perfect for anyone who wants to show their unusual style. With ear crawlers, you will not need to wear multiple earrings. 

When meeting with the unique craftsmanship of filigree, ear crawlers turn into a statement piece! 

Drop Earrings

Whether for daily use or a night out, stylish drop earrings are must-have pieces. They bring a touch of chicness to complete your look.

Beautiful details of filigree make the drop earrings even more attractive. 


Filigree Bracelets

With filigree bracelets, you can show your style on your wrists. Gold and silver bracelets, as one of the ultimate statement pieces of accessory, help you to add another dimension to your look.


Leather Bracelet

The history of the usage of leather in clothing and accessories goes back into prehistoric times. In bracelets, leather adds an edgy and cool look. 

Leather filigree bracelet combines the natural material with the unique motives of filigree. Therefore you can add a traditional dimension to your edgy look.


 Cuff Bracelet

The cuff bracelet is a powerful piece that has been worn for thousands of years. Cuff bracelets made of gold and silver would emphasize the high status of a wearer back in the day.

Gorgeous filigree motifs, turn casual outfits into stylish ones.

Beaded Bracelets

Beaded bracelets are one of the most popular types of bracelets. They are usually used for a casual outfit however can be also worn with formal attire. 

Beaded bracelets featuring beaded filigree bring modernity and tradition together.


Filigree’s unique motifs and the hard work behind them bring a delicate touch to any jewellery. Delondra undertakes the mission of being the carrier of Mesopotamian culture, expands its boundaries and shares its comprehensiveness with the world through the ancient symbols it reveals. Redefining jewellery with the unique language of filigree art, Delondra, shows you the thoughts and feelings you have not discovered before; brings you together with unique pieces that you will define yourself.