What Are Filigree Rings?
Filigree engagement and wedding rings are a romantic style of design which can give a brand new ring a vintage and classic feel. Filigree is a delicate kind of jewelry metalwork made with tiny beads and threads of precious metal to create intricate, delicate designs.
Traditionally, the beads and threads are either formed then soldered in place, or pierced and adorned into the surfaces of a ring. These designs are arranged into different artistic motifs featuring lace-like details of flowers, vines, flourishes or architectural elements.
Filigree designs on a ring add a visual pop to a center stone. Engraving, or small diamond and gemstone accents are also often surrounding the filigree for additional adornment.
Skilled workmanship is required to create the elaborate and delicate designs on filigree rings. It takes a lot more than just adding threads or bead work to a ring -- it takes a special design and understanding of jewelry construction to create a quality ring that will stand the test of time. We engineer all of our filigree rings to stand up to normal wear and become future family heirlooms.
All Whitehouse Brothers pieces are die struck as solid parts, and then filigree designs are pierced out from the parts. Using original designs from the Edwardian period, our jewelers use saw blades as thin as a human hair to cut out the intricate details of each ring. Once these designs are pierced into the ring, the assembly process continues by soldering together parts to complete the blank of a ring.
When the jeweler is complete with assembly, the ring then continues to setting and engraving. This is the part of the process where the adornment is added to the rings. Setters hand-set diamonds into precise positions using old world techniques, creating all settings by hand. Not only is this more beautiful than pre-made settings, it is also more secure and durable. After setting is complete, the ring is then engraved. Engravers use sharpened tools to cut intricate designs consisting of floral or architectural motifs into the rings. They add milgrain beading to the lace bars and edges of the ring to complete the designs beauty.
History Of Vintage Filigree Rings
Filigree rings are often considered Edwardian because they were created during King Edward VII’s reign (1901-1910). However, filigree usage may be tracked back to metal work from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Etruria, Greece and Byzantium. Early artisans created filigree designs by hand shaping wire into patterns and soldering all of the parts together. These designs were used to create everything from jewelry and brooches to flatware and sculptures
Flower themes in the Edwardian era were popular in part because of Queen Alexandra’s love of flowers. Floral motifs can be seen throughout Whitehouse Brothers’ designs, which is attributed to our top designer Frederick William Kolde’s love for gardens and landscape painting. Art Nouveau rings also heavily feature filigree designs, using insects and natural designs as inspiration for many of the pieces.
Platinum was the favorite of Edwardian metals since it was newly available and allowed for more intricate designs. Edwardian filigree rings often feature diamonds or other gemstones set in an intricate setting. These rings are also characterized by delicate elegance with their open and airy feel.
How To Care For Your Antique Filigree Ring
Since filigree rings are more delicate than other styles of wedding or engagement rings, there are simple steps you can take to care for your ring and keep it looking new. For example:
As always, feel free to contact us regarding any questions about caring for your filigree.