The Oaxacan goldsmith, Delfino García Esperanza, created a filigree jewel for Queen Letizia.
This was in 2004 when he was hired to make a piece as a gift from her marriage to King Felipe VI. In the trunk of his memories, Don Delfino narrated this experience that he evokes with enthusiasm today.
Originally from the Consolación neighborhood or La Noria, he has been working in the business for 61 of his 75 years of age.
Decades ago, jewelry making was booming. Delfino received various awards and recognitions for his work, true works of art.
In 2004, a correspondent from Mexico and Central America for Spanish television went to Oaxaca with the recommendation of the goldsmith to order a unique piece: a filigree necklace with a special bouquet.
“They told me that I had to do a special job for Princess Letizia, she was going to marry King Felipe of Spain.” An emissary arrived at the goldsmith’s workshop and brought him the sketch for the piece, it was a special creation due to its many details, he said.
He said that in this piece they did not want even three leaves, because they were a bad omen and not pearls, because according to their beliefs they cause sadness.
“Once the drawing was done again and when the design was approved, work began and I even asked my brother Pedro, my teacher in this work, for help to finish it,” he explained.
Among other awards, Delfino obtained first place in the national contest Las manos de México in 1999, for the elaboration of a bridal outfit.
In 2000, he won first place in a state competition for a filigree freshwater pearl necklace and bracelet. Meanwhile, in 2004 they commissioned a crown for the Virgin of Soledad de San Bartolo Coyotepec. García Esperanza said that this art of filigree is disappearing, as is the elaboration of huaraches, traditional costumes, among other objects that were previously unique.
He said that at 14 years old, he started in this enterprise, and like any job, it was difficult at the beginning, within time, desire, and perseverance, he obtained the skill. “You have to master silver by working it, caressing it like a woman, and also making the pieces for her.”
He stressed that due to the crisis generated by the pandemic, sales fell, coupled with the devaluation of artisan creations and other factors put the permanence of the goldsmith at risk.
“Over time it will tend to disappear. There are very few jewelers and in the market, local people repel a lot, foreigners are the ones who value the pieces the most ”, he indicated.