Golay Fils & Stahl was founded in 1837 in Geneva by Auguste Golay Leresche and sold at the turn of the century to Mr. Stahl, hence the name Golay Fils & Stahl. In 1961, the company was acquired by Jacques Wolfgang, already a business associate of the firm, having supplied it with precious stones since the 1930’s.
Between 1860 and 1930, the establishment prospered during this grand and lavish period offering its exclusive creations to the jewellery world. Having a retail store in and Paris as well as Geneva, Golay Fils & Stahl benefited from a very international clientele. At the turn of the century, Golay Fils & Stahl was named the official jeweller to the royal family of Romania. King Carol I of Romania, a loyal customer, visited the shop in Geneva regularly from 1896 onward. In old ledgers, there are also mentions of purchases by the Prince Damrong of Siam, as well as the Maharajah of Baroda.
Jesse Wolfgang, the son of Jacques, took over the firm upon his father’s death in 1976. Having worked within the company since 1968 he was able to lead his team in adding a new dimension to the retail establishment. Golay Fils & Stahl closed its retail sector definitively in 1997, focusing solely on the creation of exclusive jewellery as well as buying and selling diamonds, coloured stones, vintage, antique and signed jewels; a family tradition spanning six generations, continuing on today.
Currently, we employ two Graduate Gemologists (GIA), and are long-standing members of the Swiss Stone Dealers Association (Association Suisse des Négociants en Pierres Précieuses-ASNP-VSE).
Located in the historic lakefront area of Geneva, we welcome collectors, enthusiasts and novices alike.
It was in 1961 that my father, Jacques Wolfgang – who grew up in Geneva and later became a dealer in precious stones – bought Golay Fils & Stahl from Morris Steele. Established on the Quai des Bergues in 1837, the company was well known for their exclusive watches and jewellery, catering to a notable international clientele.
When my father purchased the company, it had already ceased to manufacture watches and concentrated on retail activity – including the best names in watches – as well as the trade of precious stones.
When I started working for the company in 1968, the retail trade was flourishing in Switzerland, as a result, the firm opened branches in Lausanne, Lugano and Paris. When my father died in 1976 and I took the helm, it coincided with the first oil crisis resulting in a major decline in the valuation of the US dollar, the benchmark currency for world trade.
It was the beginning of a crisis that was to be felt greatly throughout Switzerland and in Europe. I subsequently decided to close the branches which had become unprofitable and to refocus the effort on the retail trade in Geneva, the birthplace of the firm, but also to develop the wholesale trade in diamonds, precious stones and jewellery, a family tradition for five generations.
When my daughter Melissa joined Golay Fils & Stahl in 2001, she too was enamoured with the pieces representing the rich heritage of the firm. She also comes across pieces on her travels and continues the tradition of adding to our collection, which now has over 150 pieces in it.
My frequent travels around the world over the last 40 years allowed me to build business relationships and friendships with my peers and fellow merchants. In time, people knew of the collection, reaching out to me when they saw anything with our signature. Each phone call helped me to build a beautiful collection, without them it would never have been possible.
In 1978, during one of my many trips to New York, I was strolling down 47th street – the acclaimed home to diamond and jewellery dealers – and spied an antique Golay-Leresche watch in a chaotic shop window. After the usual back-and-forth negotiations, I bought the pocket watch with the idea of enriching a small collection of old stock belonging to the company at the time of its acquisition by my father. This first purchase was undoubtedly my “aha!” moment: I understood the true heritage of Golay Fils & Stahl and that it had to be given a chance to flourish.
Whether it be for an engagement ring, wedding bands, an everyday piece or something more elaborate, Golay Fils & Stahl takes you through each step of the custom design process.
Collaborating with workshops and artisans who are as skilled in today’s most up-to-date techniques as those of antique jewellers, we work with you to translate your vision and create your perfect jewel.
TRANSFORMATION & RESTORATION
Have something that means the world to you but never wear because it’s just not your style ? Let us help make old new again, transforming sentimental into wearable.
We also do repairs and restoration of vintage, antique and contemporary pieces needing some tender loving care.
Golay Fils & Stahl not only collaborates with the trade and private clientele but also banks, lawyers, notaries, and other financial institutions worldwide to provide:
- Appraisals of fine jewellery, diamonds and coloured stones for purchase, insurance and estate/inheritance.
- Purchase advisory for collectors.
Should you wish to make an appointment, or have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
At Golay Fils & Stahl, we accord great importance to expertise, authenticity, and transparency in all our relationships and transactions. We see the world changing and evolving at a rapid pace. With these changes, a real necessity for our industry to embrace transparency and traceability has come to light. In 2020, we became members of the Responsible Jewellery Council. The RJC is a standards-setting organisation established to advance responsible and ethical (human rights, social and environmental) practices throughout the gold, silver, platinum, diamond, and coloured gemstone supply chain.
As an RJC member, we commit to operating our business in accordance with the RJC Code of Practices. We commit to integrating ethical, human rights, social and environmental considerations into our day-to-day operations, business planning activities and decision-making processes to the best of our ability and expect that our partners, suppliers, and clients share in our values and commitments, all of which are communicated in our company Code of Conduct.
In addition to being members of the RJC, we are long-standing members of the Swiss Precious Stone Dealers Association (Association Suisse des Négociants en Pierres Précieuses ASNP-VSE). As such, we adhere to the association’s Ethics Charter as well as their Code of Conduct.
We realise that adapting to change is a challenging endeavour. Nevertheless, we remain committed to regularly assessing our policies and performances to evolve and improve upon our processes to provide the best possible experience for our stakeholders, partners and clients.
We remain at your disposal for any feedback or grievances which can be communicated by email firstname.lastname@example.org
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