Filigree is a delicate variety of traditional jewellery that is made from thin strands of silver or gold that are twisted into different forms, shapes and designs and made into exquisitely original jewellery pieces. Filigree as a jewellery-making technique was born in the times of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Etruscans. Maltese filigree owes its remotest origins to the ancient Phoenicians who moved around the Mediterranean, spreading their culture, traditions and skills throughout.
According to local legend, the għonnella was first introduced to Malta in 1224 C.E. as a sign of mourning by the women of Celano in the Abruzzi region of Italy, who were said to have been expelled – first to Sicily, and then to Malta