Founded in 1801 in Savannah, Georgia, the firm know today as Black, Starr & Frost was first called Marquand & Paulding. In 1810 Isaac Marquand moved to New York, establishing a premise on Broadway in lower Manhattan, and consolidating his with a number of other firms. Under this name the company exhibited in the 1851 London Crystal Palace Exhibition, one of the few American jewellery firms in attendance. In 1860 the company changed its name to Ball Black & Company, again marking a new partnership. By this time the company was established as one of the premier American jewellers, alongside Tiffany and Gorham.
In 1876 Cortlandt Starr and Aaron V. Front joined the firm, changing the name to Black Starr & Frost, and moved the shop to 251 Fifth Avenue. In the same year they exhibited at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia to great acclaim. One final merger, in 1929 the company joined with Gorham & Co, becoming Black, Starr & Frost-Gorham Inc. In 1939 the firm was one of five American jewellers invited to exhibit at New York’s World’s Fair. Through its various incarnations, it is known today as one of the oldest and most prestigious American jewellery firms, which produced the highest quality in terms of material, craftsmanship and design.