DELICATE DESIGNS IN METAL
Filigree is a lacy metal ornamentation, a delicate decorative openwork made from thin twisted wire in silver, gold or other metals.
This art form is widely considered to be the very foundation of the jewellery industry and therefore filigree is extremely popular among high-caliber collectors.
For as long as jewellery has been manufactured filigree was always part of that picture, right from the start. This has been proven by archaeology as objects, which have been clearly identified as filigree, have been discovered in ancient places such as Mesopotamia and some of those items have been found to be at least 5000 years old.
The word filigreen is a derivate of the Latin word filum of which the first part translates as thread and the second part as granum which simply means grain and refers to small beads.
One only has to take a closer look at commonly used engraving techniques and one will quickly see that the jeweller is using a solid object and will then carve it and shape it in order to add to its decorative value. This is not what is happening with filigree because in this event the jeweller is adding layers of thin metal to enhance the value of an existing piece of jewellery.