Marcus & Co.

Herman Marcus immigrated to New York City from Germany in 1850 and found employment with Tiffany & Co. After leaving Tiffany & Co., Herman Marcus went into a partnership with Theodore B. Starr in 1864, forming Starr and Marcus. In addition to jewelry the firm sold bronzes, clocks, household ornaments, medals, and silverware, which later became the company’s most popular product. The firm of Starr and Marcus dissolved in 1877 for unknown reasons, and Herman Marcus returned to Tiffany & Co. before again leaving in 1884 to join the firm of Jaques and Marcus, of which his son William elder Marcus was already a partner. Jaques and Marcus opened a shop at 857 Broadway and began a publicity campaign to draw in customers. In 1882 Jaques and William Marcus published a book entitled “something About Neglected Gems” which highlighted colored gemstones they believed had been previously overlooked in the jewelry industry. Setting themselves apart from the all white diamond look that was popular at the time, the firm created colorful pieces using zircons, chrysoberyls, tourmalines, opals, garnets, beryls, spinels, and peridots.