portuguese filigree

Portuguese Certified Filigree is one of the most faithful representations of Portuguese culture, presented to the world as the most important and distinctive symbol of Portuguese Jewellery.

it's not just filigree. It's portuguese filigree and it's certified

Filigree is the art of producing very fine gold or silver threads that are then twisted and flattened and applied manually in a delicate painstaking work that requires patience. It is an ancient technique that results in a timeless piece.

At Joalharia do Carmo, every piece of Filigree jewellery is officially certified, displaying a punch and a certification label that prove its uniqueness, making it more easily recognized and identified as authentic.

The meticulous artistic work in which the “enchedeiras” fill the frames, prepared by the artisans with golden threads, remains faithful to the legacy they inherited from their mothers and grandmothers. Through the hands of those who master the technique with skill and delicacy in small craft workshops, we carry on the knowledge of generations that certifies the authenticity, and emotion, of the Filigree. A “vira do Minho” or, in other words, a tradition carried out with patience, history, and passion, honouring a secular heritage.

Under an agreement for the promotion and dissemination of Portuguese Filigree certification signed at Joalharia do Carmo, O Valor do Tempo Group (which owns Joalharia do Carmo), the municipalities of Gondomar and Póvoa de Lanhoso and A.Certifica (the certification body) signed a partnership at an event that was also attended by very special guests: the artisans.

Video: courtesy of Filigrana de Portugal

Portuguese soul

The north of the country narrates the history of Filigree in Portugal. The art took shape there in silver and 19.2-carat Portuguese gold, one of the purest and most sought after in the world.

In Portugal, Filigree was inspired by history, in artistic manifestations that materialize the country’s culture in motifs taken from nature, religion, and love. From the earth, flowers and clovers invite fish, shells, and caravels to the party. From the divine, crosses, reliquaries, monstrances, medals, saints and angels set the sacred motto for love, in a revelation personified by the eternal heart of Viana. Traditionally worn on special occasions as jewellery adorning the typical “trajes de domingar”, or Sunday attire, Minho women bear Filigree as a symbol of fertility, wealth, and success.

Sharon Stone, Cecília Krull, Cristina Ferreira, Carla Bruni, Úrsula Corberó, Queen Letícia of Spain and Princess Mary of Denmark all wear Portuguese Filigree in imposing hearts of Viana or Rainha (queen-style) or Princesa (princess-style) earrings, affirming Portuguese Filigree in the world.

origin of filigree

The origins of Filigree are believed to date back to Mesopotamia. It arrived in Europe on Mediterranean Sea trade routes, and in the East, where it was mainly used as a decorative element. The way in which the fine gold threads are welded together by a fusion technique that uses heat to create a pattern or a piece, was already in practice. The arrival of Arab peoples to the Iberian Peninsula brought improvements in the technique and, by the 17th century, Filigree had its own Portuguese imaginary.

Filigree is a centuries-old art: the fact that gold is very malleable means that just one gram of gold can be drawn into a very thin wire 3000 meters long, making it possible to manufacture unique pieces using thinner and thinner wires and increasingly perfect welded joins.