Cartagena, COLOMBIA–Colombian gold stands out for its fiery hues and authentic lustre — today as it did about four thousand years ago. That’s right, Colombians have been master goldsmith’s since 1500 BC and before any European had ever stepped food on its lush soil.
American metallurgy has its origins in Peru, but eventually made its way throughout South America.
What we know today as “Pre Colombino” jewellery is rooted in the native Zenú culture, whose people inhabited the grasslands and developed a talent, not only for working metals like copper and gold, but also for weaving (a technique that eventually gave birth to the filigree technique).
Colombia’s Cano Family, which founded the Cano chain of boutiques, has been in large part responsible for the preservation of traditional Colombian jewellery. In addition to their stores, the Cano family was responsible for furnishing much of Cartagena’s gold museum, the Museo del Oro Zenú.
It all started in 1890, when the family’s patriarch, Nemesio Cano uncovered important archeological sites filled with gold treasures. His discoveries ignited a passion for collecting indigenous artefacts that was passed on to his sons Jose and Felix and later on to his grandson Guillermo.
Though still expanding, CANO can be found not only in Colombia, but also Costa Rica, Spain and the United States. By visiting their website you can also choose from their collection and have it shipped to you internationally for 35 USD more.
The artisan gold-making technique is detailed here: