Unique, handcrafted jewelry
Wolf Wilde is the founder of the business and, yes, it is his given name.
Growing up in West Berlin, Wolf went through the standardized testing process of the German educational system. Found to have particularly-good hand dexterity, Wolf was recommended to the goldsmith trade. This trade opportunity especially pleased his mother and Wolf completed his apprenticeship in Germany with her support.
At 20, Wolf left home for North America, traveling across the Atlantic by sea. Entering Canada first, Wolf soon moved to New Jersey and worked for a company that produced jewelry, but also held defense contracts. “Work for us and you will never be drafted,” they told him, but the work was boring and didn’t pay well and Wolf was eager to move on. Going next to F. & F. Felger, Wolf then enjoyed working on much finer pieces, manufacturing jewelry for Tiffany and Cartier. But sure enough, the draft found Wolf and he entered the U.S. Army.
Army life took Wolf to Fort Bragg, NC where he worked at the post-fire department. Putting out small brush fires, Wolf remembers driving the fire truck, cooking, and cutting his co-workers' hair. Working in 24-hour shifts, Wolf used his days off to work for a local jeweler doing basic repairs. When his two years were up, Wolf returned to
F. & F. Felger, but it was not long before he turned his interest to diamond setting.
Wolf went next to New York to the K. Polishook Company where he began a job setting diamonds and gemstones. Just as the manager had promised him during the interview, it was not long before he became very proficient. Paid by the piece, what began as a small wage soon blossomed and Wolf began earning more than the manager who hired him! He also managed to catch the attention of the young female office clerk who brought him paper envelopes of diamonds and began joining him for lunch. Wolf and Janet were married in 1968.
After welcoming their first child, Wolf and Janet made the move to upstate New York in 1971. Operating out of his Oneonta home, Wolf worked for various local jewelers like Brigham’s and Teleky’s. Years passed and the family grew to include four young children. The business also grew and customers began seeking Wolf out for service at his home. It was time to expand and Wolf Wilde Goldsmith opened in the Clinton Plaza location in 1987.
These days, Wolf can still be found at work in his shop making special orders, completing repairs, and training his children in the trade. His tremendous experience, knowledge of materials, interest in trends, history, and techniques all contribute to his special talent of producing beautiful pieces of jewelry. He takes inspiration from attending shows around the country and making regular visits to New York. He has also taken special delight in running the business as a true family operation.
We've been in the jewelry business for two generations.
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