In Calabria, the activity of gold processing dates back centuries. It was initially dedicated to the production of sacred art objects (such as crosses, monstrances, reliquaries, etc.) and only subsequently gravitated towards the production of jewellery and other ornamental items.
Thus, Calabria’s gold production offers a vast selection, inspired by the Magna Graecia tradition, evolving with enchanting effects and blending styles, shapes and decorations with expert alchemy. Countless craftsmen have worked in Calabria throughout various historical periods and there are numerous accounts attesting to the existence of actual schools dedicated to the craft during the 12th century.
There are currently a vast number of goldsmith’s workshops throughout the region, a high concentration of which are located in the province of Crotone. They mainly operate on a craftsmanship basis, but the products represent made in Calabria quality on both a national and international level. Although the style of the jewellery is difficult to pinpoint, today’s Calabrian goldsmiths are particularly inspired by the popular, classical, Greco-Roman and Byzantine traditions, without foregoing the use of innovative techniques and new designs.
The essential starting point for every goldsmith’s creations is the material: gold, silver, pearls, mother of pearl, coral, onyx, carnelian, amethyst, enamel and glass paste. Pearls and mother of pearl are symbols of fertility, red coral prevents bad luck, onyx indicates deep thought, garnet is a symbol of fidelity, and so on.