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Filigree Silver Jewelry in Chordeleg, Ecuador (Filigrana Silver Video)

Posted in: Ecuador Travel, Living in Ecuador

Chordeleg is famous for its skilled artisans that make beautiful silver jewelry. It’s unlike any jewelry I’ve ever seen. The silver is twisted and woven into beautiful designs. Chordeleg is a nice little town not far from Cuenca.

This special technique is called filigrana and is amazingly detailed. We have seen filigrana being sold here in Cuenca and other places and we are always told that it was made in Chordeleg. I’m not sure if it is made anywhere else, but certainly the most popular place to find it (near Cuenca) is in Chordeleg.

Silver filigrana ornament, Chordeleg Ecuador

Filigrana Silver Jewelry In Chordeleg

You can find rings, earrings, bracelets, pendents and ornaments in the same unique style. Most of the twisted silver jewelry is made with just silver, but some of it has color-fill as well.

We were told that the color-fill is baked so that the color is durable. Bryan bought one of the silver color-fill rings for me and I love it. The ring looks kind of whimsical and was very affordable, it was only around $12.00.

My silver filigrana color-fill ring

My silver filigrana color-fill ring

There are other types of silver jewelry in Chordeleg as well, but the filigrana is by far the most unique that I saw. You can also find a lot of gold jewelry in Chordeleg,  but if you’ll be wearing it in Ecuador, silver is a much safer option.

This video slideshow shows some of the styles of filigrana. There are other types of traditional silver jewelry shown as well.

Filigree Silver Jewelry, Chordeleg Ecuador

Watch on YouTube

These are one of the most popular Ecuador souvenirs for foreign tourists.

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Meet the Author

Dena Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. She is a travel blogger and content marketer. She is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Travel.

16 comments… add one
  • Judy Apr 19, 2013, 8:44 am

    Hi Dena and Brian,

    Just wondering if the shop has a website by any small miracle?

    Love the hummingbird!


    • Bryan Haines Apr 19, 2013, 9:54 am

      I don’t think so. Many of the shops only have email addresses.

  • Terry Doyle Mar 6, 2013, 4:50 pm

    That silver hummingbird and flower in silver filigree is spectacular! Is it a centerpiece for a table, dustcatcher or what?

    Keep up the good work on the blog, btw.

  • Raquel Feb 27, 2013, 10:27 pm

    Gracias por tan excelente pagina, gracias por enviarme su newsletter, me animan a promover mi pais asi como lo hacen ustedes por Ecuador.
    Un abrazo, desde Mexico.

  • Sue Feb 19, 2013, 2:43 pm

    Filigree works are done in many parts of the world like Egypt, Spain, Cyprus, Italy, etc.

    The filigree jewelry is popular in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh in India. The filigree work in India is highly inspired from the one that was done in Greece in ancient times and has maintained and modified that style beautifully. Besides jewelry, you can find decorative pieces like boxes, trays, bowls, spoons, vases with flowers, purses, showpieces, plates, tumblers, etc.

    • Dena Haines Feb 19, 2013, 2:58 pm

      Hi Sue,

      Thank you for sharing this, that’s really interesting.

  • Don Feb 18, 2013, 4:23 pm

    Dena, how far is Chordeleg from Cuenca and how should one go (bus, taxi)?
    Thanks, we are coming in late May for 2 weeks and this looks like a ‘must see’ stop.

    • Dena Haines Feb 19, 2013, 3:06 pm

      Hi Don,

      It’s just over a half hour away. How you get there depends on what you are more comfortable with. A bus would be less expensive than a taxi. If you go by bus you’ll need to take a truck taxi when you get to Gualaceo. If you go all the way in a taxi I think it would be around $15.00 one way, but I’m not sure – it would be good to ask around once you get here.

      All the best with your trip in May!

  • Lou Lutz Feb 15, 2013, 10:11 pm

    HI folks Dena how do you pronounce those two words Chordeleg In English it would sound to me like Cho-ra-de-leg the other word is Filigrana. to me in English that wouls be Fil-a-grana. in Spanish of course it is different. have a great evening.

    • Dena Haines Feb 16, 2013, 1:55 pm

      Hi Lou,

      Sorry, I don’t really know how you would pronounce them in English. But to say them in Spanish it would be something like.. “Chore” (like a task around the house,)”de” (like the “de” in December)and then “leg” (like your right leg) “Chor-de-leg.” And then Filigrana, would be like the word “feel,” and then a long “e” sound, and then the sound a bear would make “grrrr” and then kind of like saying “ahhhhnahhhhh” (ahhhh like at the dentist, but with an “n” in the middle) “Fil-i-gr-ana.”

      Thanks, that was fun 🙂

  • rob rodman Feb 15, 2013, 8:55 pm

    hi bryan and dena, saw you today on HGTV back in the usa. just curious are you still in the same place. keep up the great work. hope to visit soon this summer for an exploratory informational visit.

    • Dena Haines Feb 16, 2013, 1:06 pm

      Hi Rob,

      Yes we are still in Cuenca but not in that building.

      All the best for you trip this summer.


  • Judy Collins Feb 15, 2013, 8:09 pm

    Dena – We have bought 3 silver chains in Chordeleg, and every single one of them have turned black within 5 days. They were not in water, soap, or any pool. They were beautiful chains and all were over $40. How do you know if you getting something good? All of earrings are fine.

    • Dena Haines Feb 16, 2013, 1:27 pm

      Hi Judy,

      Sorry to hear that your silver chins have tarnished. Many people think that when silver tarnishes it means that it’s not good quality, but that is not true. High quality silver tarnishes.

      I have noticed that my silver (even silver I brought from Canada) tarnishes here a lot more than it did in Canada so I did some reading and found out that climate can make silver tarnish. There are also many more things that tarnish silver like cosmetics, creams, hairspray, oils from hands and skin …

      The article I read said it’s best to put silver on last (after dressing and hairspray…) and take it off first (as soon as you get home)that way it comes into contact with as few things as possible. Also that it should be cleaned with a good tarnish remover and not with toothpaste because it could damage the silver.

      I’ve been thinking that my silver tarnishes from a few things, maybe the climate, sunblock – and because I tend to touch (play with)it absentmindedly.

      The earrings my not be tarnishing the same because they don’t come in contact with the oils/creams/cosmetics on your skin as much. I play with my earrings (the ones that dangle) as well, so they tarnish.

      The last time my mom visited she brought me some good tarnish remover. I don’t know where to find it here in Cuenca yet. If I find it, I’ll let you know.

      Thanks for commenting.

  • Mitri Janho Feb 15, 2013, 6:22 pm

    Beautiful workmanship ! Hope to go to Chordeleg soon and see it with my own eyes. The detailing is phenomenal ! Thank you Brian and Dena.

    • Dena Haines Feb 15, 2013, 6:26 pm

      Hi Mitri,

      I hope you can go soon. The pictures are nice but they just don’t do the workmanship justice, you really need to see it for yourself to really appreciate it.

      Have fun!

      Thanks for commenting.

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