Vintage Style • My Vintage Dictionary

“D” for “Damascene”- Crafwork from Toledo”

17 February, 2015

Toledo is a Spanish city known by the famous damascene craftwork. Paying a visit to Toledo will show you places where still today you’ll find the most jewelry businesses totally dedicated to create and market pieces made out of this ancient technique.

The Damascene, also known as “the Toledan gold” is a technique based on the art of insetting metals into one another, like gold or silver into iron or a darkly oxidized steel background. Many centuries ago, this technique was used not only to decorate jewelry but loads of other objetcts.


The process is slow and very arduous since masters have to make first the background piece in steel and then mark it with little lines and shapes, according to the desired design. After that, the hardest part will come: to inset a extremely thin thread of gold or silver with the help of a small punch.

The next step would be to put the piece to the fire, which will oxidize the main piece in order to give it that unique black tone. Still a few steps to go, though: to scrape, polish, burnish and finish the piece until it has the beauty of the lights reflecting on the metal and causing stunning shadows.

In jewelry we can find this technique in pendants, earrings, rings and necklaces.

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