BSF Timeline

 
1810
1810
Isaac Marquand originated the legacy of Black, Starr & Frost with the location of 164 Broadway in New York. This was:
  • 27 years before Tiffany & Company opened its first store;
  • 37 years prior to Cartier;
  • 86 years prior to Van Cleef and Arpels;
  • 122 years before Harry Winston established his first salon.
 
1839
1839
The Marquand family withdrew from the business. Mr. Ball and Mr. Black took in as a partner their cashier, Erastus O. Tompkins, changing the firm name to Ball, Tompkins & Black.  This shop was the first in New York to have plate glass windows.
 
1851
1851
Black, Starr & Frost made headlines displaying an exquisite four piece tea service made of pure gold at the London Crystal Palace Exhibition.
 
1859
1859
Black, Starr & Frost provided over $100,000 in pearls and diamonds to the bride Frances Amelia Bartlett as a gift from the groom Don Esteban Santa Cruz de Oviedo in the “Diamond Wedding” at New York’s St. Patrick Cathedral.
 
1860
1860
Throughout the years, as new partnerships were developed, the company name changed to Ball, Black & Company. Ball, Black & Company designed for royal families and dignitaries in both Europe and the United States. In 1860 Ball, Black & Company built the finest business structure and most famous shop of its time on Broadway and Prince Street. This was the first fireproof building in New York, being constructed of white marble, and in its vaults the modern safe deposit system was originated. It was specially inspected by the Prince of Wales on his visit to the United States, and is the scene of Thomas Nast’s famous painting of the Seventh Regiment’s departure for the Civil War.
 
1876
1876
Mr. Black took in two new partners, Cortlandt Starr and Aaron Frost, and the company name changed to Black, Starr & Frost.
 
1900
1900
Along with Tiffany, Black, Starr & Frost was one of the most venerable of the American jewelers.  In the nineteenth century, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote that the Prince of Wales visited New York, danced, supped, and bought pearls at Black, Starr & Frost.  The Vanderbilt's, Guggenheims, and Carnegies had all shopped there. 
 
1912
1912
The C.T. Cook home was converted and in the fall of 1912, the new home of Black, Starr & Frost had opened on the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Forty-eighth Street. It wasn’t until the 1920’s that other jewelers and diamond dealers came to the new Diamond District.
 
1920
1920
With the addition of a new partner, the company became Black, Starr & Gorham.
 
1928
1928
Peggy Hopkins-Joyce, a Ziegfeld girl turned socialite, acquired the Portugese Diamond from Black, Starr & Frost for a $350,000 pearl necklace trade-in and $23,000 in cash. Now on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. the 127.01-carat stone is the largest faceted diamond in the National Gem Collection. The near flawless clarity and unusual octagonal emerald cut makes the gem that much rarer and more magnificent to this day.
 
1929
1929
Black, Starr & Frost fashioned the Davis Cup for the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association.
 
1930
1930
Black, Starr & Frost acquired the jewels of “Diamond Jim” Brady.
 
1939
1939
Displayed two unique, jewel encrusted “mystery clocks” – table top clocks with no visible signs of a pendulum or moving mechanism – at the World’s Fair.
 
1953
1953
Marilyn Monroe as Lorelei Lee in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” sings “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” with the unforgettable verse “Tiffany, Cartier, Black, Starr, Frost, Gorham, talk to me Harry Winston, tell me all about it.”
 
1956
1956
Manufactured the “Princeton Mace,” utilized at Princeton University for key observances at the school. The Princeton Mace is an integral element of the regalia of Princeton University. Dean Brown sought the assistance of Witherbee Black (Class of 1901) to provide this elegant ceremonial piece. The key designs carry important symbols to the University including the seal.
 
1962
1962
Following the separation of Black, Starr & Frost from Gorham in early 1962, the corporate race commenced to build. In December 1962, just a few months after the separation, the Black, Starr & Frost group acquired the New York Cartier store.
 
1986
1986
New York’s famous The Plaza Hotel becomes home to another Black, Starr & Frost jewelry salon.
 
2006
2006
International Jeweler Alfredo J. Molina acquires the last remaining Black, Starr & Frost store at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California.
 
2010
2010
Black, Starr & Frost celebrates its 200th Anniversary. Alfredo J. Molina leads the historic firm into a new era of elegance.
 
2011
2011
Black, Starr & Frost moves from South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California to a magnificent waterfront location in Newport Beach, California. The new 5000 square foot store is located at 341 Bayside Drive, Newport Beach, California.