Learn the Lingo: Filigree

education & resources

Filigree refers to delicate wire work in a piece of jewelry. This style of decoration was historically (and sometimes, still is) created by bending, twisting and curling small pieces of wire carefully by hand. These days, filigree is most often created in the wax model, which is later cast in metal. Filigree can be the central design in a piece of jewelry, like in these elaborate filigree earrings:

White gold bridal earrings with leaf filigree and bezel set diamonds

Or, it can be used as a decorative element to fill open space and add structural support, like in the side of this pendant:

White gold Mother's pendant with birthstones and filigree

Filigree is often added to the airline of engagement rings. An airline is the open space under the head or halo of a ring. This is a classic oval halo engagement ring that has filigree in the airline under the halo:

Platinum engagement ring with a scalloped bezel halo and marquise shaped filigree under the center diamond.



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