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The Association Ourives de Compostela

Creating a future with very deep roots

The association rallies together masters, workshops and retailers.

Strategic Plan on Compostelan Silversmithing


Preserving Tradition

Safeguarding the techniques and artisan skills that characterize Compostelan metalwork.

Promoting local culture

Highlighting the cultural and historical importance of a sector that has been intrinsically linked to the history of our city since its foundation.

Education and Training

Encourage new generations to learn these trades and open learning and collaboration spaces for guild members.

Promoting Compostelan precious metalwork

We bring our work closer to the general public by organizing exhibitions, fairs, workshops, conferences and live shows to display the work of our artisans and of those who came before.

Guaranteeing Quality

Building, promoting a consolidating a brand that guarantees products are authentic, made by hand, and using high-quality materials.


1. Legacy and evolution

We value and cherish the legacy of Compostelan precious metalwork, an unparalleled tradition that has been passed on from one generation to the next for more than a thousand years.
Protecting and safeguarding this legacy is a great honor, but also a huge responsibility. It connects us to our history and hands us the tools we need to build a promising future.

2. Silver and Jet

Silver and jet work are characteristic traits of the Compostelan craftsmanship. These noble materials are at the heart of our trades and a key aspect of our legacy.

3. Authenticity

Precious metalwork uses traditional techniques and high-quality materials. Each piece is genuine, has been created by hand, and is unique in a world flooded by serial products and imitations. ​​

4. Innovation and tradition

Compostelan silversmithing is alive and well, the same way it has been for more than a thousand years.
New designs and techniques have been added to traditional options, creating beautiful, unique, and contemporary pieces that enrich the guild’s legacy. Amongst them, we must pay close attention to jewelry and personal decoration pieces.

5. Cultural heritage

We deeply value our connection to the city of Santiago de Compostela and the Way of St. James. Our creations showcase the magic of the city and its influence in creating religious and secular pieces. We are an active part of the local culture, and we promote it passionately.
The Compostelan precious metalwork is a valuable historical and artistic heritage that has been transmitted across generations. At Ourives de Compostela, we undertake to protect and place value on this cultural legacy, making sure future generations also get to enjoy it.

6. Protecting historical and artistic heritage

Compostelan silversmithing has been traditionally associated with religious worship and the creation of unique pieces with gemstones and precious metals for the Church and devout Catholics (some of them of great historic and artistic value). However, it is worth highlighting that many important pieces were of a secular nature.
The preservation and restoration of these pieces is, nowadays, an important aspect of the protection of historical and artistic heritage.


Last September, Enrique Fink became president of the jet workers and silversmiths’ guild in Santiago. He received the baton from Arturo Ouro, president since mid-2018. It is now time to take stock of what has been accomplished these past few years and prepare for the short, mid, and long-term.

Ouro’s presidency was devoted to solidifying the future of the guild based on its glorious past. The trades being represented have been present in Compostela for more than 1,200 years, which is an unparalleled achievement. It is a unique case of preservation of world-renowned craft activities, and current silversmiths show no signs of slowing down. Far from it, they want their trades to grow every day and become a symbol the city (and the whole of Galicia) can be proud of.

To chart the future of the guild, the first thing Ouro did was to draft a Strategic Plan defining a roadmap that could bring added value to traditional Compostelan trades (contributing to their survival in the mid and long-term). The presentation of the Strategic Plan showed how much Santiago cares for its silversmithing. Hundreds of people, including four city mayors, were present in the auditorium of the Faculty of History. This unwavering show of support was largely responsible for the revival of the sector.

Once the support of Public Administrations was obtained, the plan started to take form. In January 2020, a collaboration agreement was signed between the Dean of the University of Santiago, Antonio López, and the “Ourives de Compostela” association. This gave rise to some of the most important milestones attained by the guild these past few years.

In February 2020, a round table (chaired by mayor Sánchez Bugallo and comprising representatives of the Galician Government, provincial council, the USC, the association itself and the municipality) was created to follow up on the Strategic Plan. Each meeting has proven to be an excellent instrument to implement the Plan and has been enormously helpful when revitalizing the sector.

After the Covid-19 pandemic, and the slowdown of several initiatives, a promotional campaign in affiliated commercial establishments was launched during the 20/21 Christmas Season (supplemented by exhibitions at the Plaza de Abastos).

During the Summer of 2022, after successive delays caused by the pandemic, a grand exhibition was held at the Pazo de Fonseca. Thanks to the support provided by the University and the financial backing of the three Administrations that make up the round table, a high-quality fair open to Galicians and foreigners was held. From its opening to its closing, the number of visitors reached more than 87,500 (some days, attendance figures went as high as 2,000 people). In addition to the pieces exhibited in the Coffered Room (with jet and silver acting as a guiding thread), a dedicated space was set up at the Chapel where silversmiths could show their skills live and information was disseminated via audiovisual channels. These exhibit, which served as basis for a book on the history of Compostelan silversmithing, was a turning point in the manner artisan works were socially perceived.

After this, Ourives de Compostela took part in the most important Spanish trade fairs of 2023 (including Fitur Madrid, largely considered the world’s leading fair), showing the work of jet workers and silversmiths live. Thanks to the efforts of the Galician Agency for Tourism, we soon became a symbol of the region and were hosted next by Barcelona and Bilbao. Valladolid will be our next stop in November.

So as to keep the glorious past of our silversmithing alive, another great exhibition was held at the Afundación Theatre in Vigo between April and September 2023. Organized in cooperation with the financial institution and sponsored by the Galician Agency for Tourism, it welcomed school groups and other visitors and included live performances. It aroused great interest and was well-received by the public (most notably by the President of the Galician Government).

It is worth noting that, after years of preparation and paperwork, and thanks to the unwavering support of the guild, the academic center and the Department of Education, the Mestre Mateo School of Arts and Crafts finally launched (during the 2023/24 academic year) a vocational training course that teaches silversmithing to younger generations.grazas ao afán do gremio, co apoio do propio centro e da Consellería de Educación..

Arturo Ouro seems satisfied of the goals achieved during his mandate: “We have hit major milestones that will be remembered. Dignifying the work of silversmiths and jet crafters Dignifying the work of silversmiths and jet carvers was crucial in order to gain the support of public administrations and be commercially valued. We have laid the foundations and achieved important goals that, a short while ago, seemed unattainable. We must now move forward, without slowing down, and create better prospects for the guild. When we launched the Strategic Plan, our goal was to transform the sector before the Jacobean Holy Year of 2027, and I believe we’re going to make it. The baton must be passed to new chairs, but we must always support one another and work towards the same goal”.