General Info for Filigree
Welcome to the most complete(ish) silver filigree guide on the web.
Filigree is handmade jewelry made of fine metal threads (and beads) twisted and melted together by home artisans. Several types of filigree are made from different materials (gold, silver, gold plated).
Gold plated filigree, you may ask? This is when you dip the jewelry on gold to have a gold surface, but the basis is another less precious metal such as silver and sometimes copper. At Lefkara Silver, we can do custom orders for gold plated with Silver base.
Styles of Filigree
There are different styles of filigree depending on the technique used to do them, how thick is the metal thread that is used, if silver(or other metal) cast, or if other materials such as stones(precious or semi-precious) are added to the jewelry and also the style of patterns that are showing.
The Premium Quality of Filigree
For the Lefkara Silver branded jewelry, we focus on Silver Filigree (925/Sterling silver) made only with the finest threads of silver, which are more flexible and thin (thus also more sensitive) to another type of filigree. We don’t typically add stones to our filigree or other parts of non-handmade silver.
The filigree we make is 100% handmade, thread by thread.
The Colors of Filigree
Our filigree is typical of shiny white silver color (on the market, there is also oxidized/darker color filigree). Since it is handmade and delicate is not advised to be touched by water/high humidity, and if the water feels it, it needs to be dried fast.
Storing the Filigree
When storing it, it is good to keep it in small boxes or plastic bags away from humidity. If the filigree does not properly care for, it will oxidize (like all silver), lose its vibrant color, and become darker. However, with proper care, it should remain shiny for many years.
The Material Used In Filigree
The material used for our filigree is silver of 925 purity. (925 silver / 1000 parts, also known as the silver of 92.5% purity.) – also more commonly referred to as sterling silver.
There is usually a tiny stamp on the filigree indicating the number 925 as a sign of its purity (even though the arbiter maker arbitrarily adds it, there’s no accurate regulation of whether it is 925 silver or not). The remaining 7.5% of the metal is usually copper or other metals, and 925 is the industry standard. If the purity is higher (e.g., 950 or even 1000 (pure silver), then the jewelry will be very soft to maintain its shape (pure silver treads are very soft and flexible).
The Need for 925 Silver in Filigree
Adding other metals like copper creates a new metal (also called alloys) which is more durable/robust and thus suitable for jewelry making. However, silver jewelry below the 925 magic number (like 875 or 850) is considered cheap imitations and, in many countries, is even forbidden to be sold on the market as “silver.” Therefore, buyers need to know that their jewelry is 925 silver, not less than that.
Cyprus Jewellery Quality Standards
In Cyprus, all jewelry for sale within the island is regulated by the Assay Office: http://www.assay.org.cy/index.php?lang=en. The Assay office has one of the highest standards worldwide regarding the purity of the jewelry sold on the island. It demands all silver and gold or platinum jewelry be stamped accordingly with stamps that indicate the purity of the metals, so the consumer will know what he gets (in addition to the symbols already added by the jewelry makers, such as the 925 stamp).
However, for products not to be sold within Cyprus, such an Assay’s stamp is NOT needed (in our case, the Russian exports).
Also, the Assay does NOT allow for the sale of Silver jewelry below the 925 purity in jewelry shops. Therefore, it is quite the standard across the island that the jewelry produced here is of this quality.
This distinguishes it from most (if not all) Asian countries in which their producers are not regulated by government agencies about the purity of their silver jewelry, which results in many scams.
Lefkara Silver Jewellery Advantages
Our advantages as opposed to other filigree wholesalers:
Lefkara Silver & I. & A Lefkara Ltd
Other Filigree Wholesalers
European Trustworthy and Transparent Company (30-year-old-well known jewelry wholesalers in Cyprus)
Many “ghost”-scammer companies that receive the money and run away with it
Guaranteed 925 Top Quality Handmade Sterling Silver Filigree – Regulated by Gov Agencies
Often Filigree of lesser quality/purity – Unregulated by Gov Agencies.
High-quality customer service in native language
Most of the companies speak little to no English.
Easiness to make an online order – delivery of goods at your address
Many companies require you to visit them to order or receive the goods personally..
Extensive Catalogues – Clear Images – Option for Custom Filigree Designs
Most companies have minimaland low-resolution images of products.
The art of making silver filigree jewelry is rare, demanding exceptional skills and patience. We trust Cyprus’s most experienced handicraft experts to deliver the highest quality of rare filigree found worldwide.