Mompox Filigree Artisans

Filigrana Jewellery


Mompox, a city of the Magdalena River in Colombia, was known throughout history and the Spanish conquest for its importance to the gold trade. Gold was often stored here while awaiting the arrival of the Spanish galleons because the distance from the coast made the city a haven safe from pirate attacks. Even now it is famous for its fine precious metalsmithing, especially for its filigrana art & jewellery, which is characterized by the use of the filigree technique; that is, work in miniature dimensions. 

Exquisite filigree weavings by these highly skilled artisans are made with fine gold & silver threads following the process of stretching, twisting, and flattening of the metals. These incredible jewellery pieces have both indigenous and colonial roots evidenced in their European (Spanish, French, and English) techniques and ornamental forms, although the conquistadors brought with them knowledge of techniques learned from the Arabs centuries earlier.

Now just about anything an artisan can imagine can be made from these strands of gold & silver. It all depends on the artisan’s creativity & skills. Often their beautiful designs are inspired by nature: bouquets of leaves, flowers, fruits, petals, clover leaves, birds (macaws among them), butterflies, bird wings, insects, snails, fish, frogs, and horns etc.