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10/25/2006 - Famed Black, Starr & Frost Acquired by International Jeweler, Alfredo J. Molina

Molina to Bring 196-Year-Old Jewelry Firm Back to Its Original Grandeur

At Its Peak, Black, Starr & Frost Clients Included the Vanderbuilt, Guggenheim, and Carnegie Families, Hollywood Movie Stars, and Royalty

PHOENIX (October 25, 2006) – Like a Phoenix rising out of the ashes, internationally-acclaimed jeweler Alfredo J. Molina is determined to bring Black, Starr & Frost (BSF) back to its original grandeur.

Molina acquired the 196-year-old jewelry firm late Monday. Molina, CEO of Phoenix-based Molina Fine Jewelers said his desire is "to lead this great icon forward into the twenty-first century with the glamour and sophistication of its past."

Molina explained that during the nineteenth century, BSF was one of the most venerable American jewelers.

"Marilyn Monroe sang about it in Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," he said. "It's the oldest American premiere jewelry store in the nation, and at its peak, it touted a client roster of celebrities, royalty, and famous families, including the Vanderbuilts, Guggenheims, and Carnegies."

The original BSF opened in New York in 1810. The store is presently located in Costa Mesa, California, and there are plans to open stores in Phoenix and New York.

"The original Black Starr & Frost brought the highest quality of gemstones and jewelry of royalty to America's elite," Molina stated. "I am committed to bringing back that level of excellence."

Molina based his decision to acquire BSF on many factors, including tradition. Like BSF, Molina's tradition of excellence dates back to 1634. The tradition began during the Golden Age of the Italian Renaissance when Jose Molina established ateliers in Milan. Today, Alfredo J. Molina is one of the world's preeminent master jewelers and an expert in identifying country of origin of gemstones. He is also a Fellow of the Gemological Association of Great Britain.

Molina is best known for acquiring rare jewels, including the 76.45-carat Archduke Joseph Diamond, the world's 12th largest perfect diamond dating back to the 17th century. Actress Laura Harring (Mulholland Drive) wore the historic diamond at the 2002 Oscars. Molina has also bejeweled other celebrities for special occasions including Celine Dion, Natalie Cole, Sarah Ferguson, Maya, Patti LaBelle, and Kim King.

For more information, call (602) 955-2055 or visit: http://www.MolinaFineJewelers.com.