In 2008, I discovered Portugal and all of its magic for the first time. This meant discovering amazing quality products still unknown to the rest of the world. Filagree has a 2,000 year tradition here and is an extremely intricate and skilled process used to make beautiful unique jewelry. Most of the popular pieces all have a meaningful story attached to them.
Our studs, known as "Contas de Viana" in Portugal, were first seen in the 3rd century BC in Sintra. The influences came from the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Etruscans. The circular design is said to resemble the eyes of a partridge, to bring luck and protection. The original tradition was for a godmother to gift the first "Conta" to her goddaughter and the family to buy one each year that they could to complete a full necklace to bring her luck and protection with her marriage.
The next tradition was of young women, who were not of great means, to sell eggs and chickens and when they could purchase the "Conta" to show some wealth for their marriage and dowrey.
The modern tradition of which I was introduced to by my mother and sister-in-law and partcipate in, is the gifting of "Conta" earrings to my female friends and family members as a sign of closeness and friendship. I have had such amazing reactions to the meaning of the gift and gratitude for introducing them to their new favorite everyday stud!
Who will you gift the earrings of frendship to?