U.S. Buyers & Directors
Soheila Jalali, Buyer
Soheila Jalali, Buyer
Soheila Jalali joined CIRCA in 2017 as the buyer of the Beverly Hills office. She has over 35 years of experience in the Jewelry Industry. “My love for gems and jewelry goes back to my childhood when I would save my weekly allowance to buy a sparkly item to own.”
Soheila is a Graduate Gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). In addition to earning her GG, she received additional Certificates in Jewelry Replacement Appraisal and Jewelry Design. Her training and dedication led to a full-time position at the GIA where she advanced to the position of Senior Diamond Grader in the Gem Traded laboratory for over ten years.
Over the next 16 years, her passion guided her to the Estate Jewelry world, “where every piece is unique, and the experience is unlike any other I’d previously had.” Her experience encompasses various business sectors from diamond grading to antique and modern, luxury retail and estate jewelry sales. “Now that I’m with CIRCA, nothing has changed, I am still excited to see every piece of jewelry that my clients bring in.”
Carter Davies, Buyer
Carter Davies, Buyer
Carter Davies studied Fashion Buying and Merchandising at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York. The FIT Jewelry Department piqued his interest in jewelry. He then continued his education by enrolling in the Graduate Gemologist program from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Before joining CIRCA in 2017, Mr. Davies worked in many facets of the jewelry industry over the past 20 years. He has experience designing and manufacturing jewelry, which allows him to discern quality benchmarks and appreciate the time and labor that is involved in producing fine jewelry and luxury timepieces. In addition to his working product knowledge, he has traveled all over the US and the world, from Italy to India to China, purchasing jewelry from many of the world’s top designers.
This vital experience led him to CIRCA, where he is the head buyer of the Chicago office. “I have lived in Chicago for over 14 years; it is truly a world-class city. I strive to deliver that same level of excellence to all our clients who visit the Chicago CIRCA office.”
Ms. Thuyvi Tran, Director of CIRCA San Francisco, has over ten years of experience working in the jewelry industry. Tran graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, obtaining her degree in Legal Studies, Political Science and Business Administration. Enamored by jewelry and the industry, Tran pursued her passion and attended the Gemological Institute of America, where she completed her Graduate Gemologist degree while also receiving diplomas in diamonds, colored stones, and pearls.
Her admiration for jewelry and identifying gemstones first began at the age of five while playing dress up in her mother’s ruby and diamond earrings. “I vividly remember asking my mother if they were real and where did they originate. Her answer, ‘the jewelry store,’ did not satiate my curiosity to know more; instead, sparked my interest in gem identification and jewelry as a whole,” describes Tran.
Tran has excelled in both buying and selling contemporary and estate jewelry, diamonds, and watches. In 2012, Tran began working at CIRCA as a buyer at CIRCA’s Global Headquarters (New York). Her talent, diligence, and managerial skills granted her the opportunity to rise quickly within the company, earning the roles of Senior Buyer, Supervisor of CIRCA’s Buying Operations, and now, Director of CIRCA’s San Francisco office.
“My favorite story while working at CIRCA is when a client came in with two bags filled with jewelry she had inherited from her aunt. After five hours of delightful conversation and evaluation, she walked away with a check that paid for her Master’s Degree and her move to Los Angeles. It was truly a special moment,” says Tran.
Howard Beardsley, Director of CIRCA Palm Beach and Boca Raton, began his career 30 years ago as a polisher and jewelers’ apprentice while he was attending college. During this time, his boss quickly recognized Beardsley’s keen eye for finely made pieces and gems, urging him to continue his education at the Gemological Institute of America. In 1989, Beardsley graduated from the GIA, and has continued to expand his knowledge and experience. He successfully completed the ASA Master Gemologist Appraisers Course (in 1993), the American Gem Society Certified Gemologist Course, Levels 1-4 of Patek Philippe Specialist Training, Levels 1-3 of the Breitling Specialists Training, as well as his continuing education labs. Throughout his career, Beardsley has bought, sold and appraised thousands of pieces at all market levels, working for a number of the most prominent and established retailers, including Tourneau, Hamilton Jewelers, and Mayors Jewelers.
Mr. Beardsley has been the Director of CIRCA Palm Beach and Boca Raton since 2013, where he continues to discover hidden treasures every day. One of the best parts of his job, Beardsley says, is the ability to educate clients about the unknown value of their jewelry. He explains a particular appointment where he was able to inform a client and make an offer that exceeded the client’s expectations. “A young woman made an appointment with me to meet her at her bank vault because she had inherited a large amount of jewelry and she wasn’t sure how much was real and how much of it was costume,” he describes. “She was trying to raise money to finish her Master’s Degree. After several hours, I determined that almost all of it was genuine and she not only had enough for tuition but her living expenses as well. Now that’s a good day.”
Lee Siegel has worked in the jewelry trade for over 20 years, and earned his prestigious Graduate Gemologist Degree (G.G.) from The Gemological Institute Of America (GIA), in 1996. Lee has also earned a diploma in Rough Diamond Grading from the American Institute Of Diamond Cutting. “It has really given me a true understanding of how diamonds are brought from the rough stage to the finished product,” explains Siegel. Along with Lee’s Gemological degrees and diplomas, he also specializes in colored gemstones, antique and estate jewelry, diamonds and high end antique, vintage and modern timepieces.
Prior to joining CIRCA in 2006, Siegel spent 15 years working in a family-owned jewelry business in Virginia. He currently serves as the Director of CIRCA Washington, DC.
Siegel says, “I feel very privileged to have built such a loyal clientele in the Washington DC metro area. Hands down, the best part of my job is having the privilege of educating my clients so that they have the information they need in order to make a good decision.”
Jeffrey Singer, Senior Vice President
Jeffrey Singer, Senior Vice President
Jeffrey Singer’s encyclopedic knowledge of jewelry and watches is legendary, but it is his unbridled enthusiasm for the subject matter that’s so infectious. Mr. Singer comes from a long line of jewelers, and his childhood was spent looking at and studying precious pieces. “I loved being in my family’s office, listening to my father and his siblings as they evaluated beautiful jewelry,” he allows. “I remember how impressed I was with every piece of jewelry I saw. I’m sure some of the things I saw were spectacular and some not, but at seven years old I thought they were all treasures.”
Singer trained arduously and rose through the ranks of his family’s estate jewelry house, New York-based M and L Singer, which remained a leader in the industry for more than 50 years. It was through his vast experience that he saw a void that existed when it came to the private sale of personal jewelry. To that end, he and his team opened SellJewelry in 2000. The goal was this: Give clients a way to sell their unwanted jewelry by providing unparalleled service, total discretion, and a luxurious environment. In 2005 SellJewelry was rebranded as CIRCA, where Mr. Singer remains a Co-Founder and Vice President. He treats every client with care. “Selling jewelry is not an everyday event for people, and I understand that,” he says. “We may buy every day, but we never lose sight of what someone goes through emotionally when they decide to let go. We are here to inform and to educate. At a certain point, it’s not about the jewelry on the desk; it is about the person sitting opposite us.”
Mr. Singer is a founding member of the New York Jewelers Group, a 15-year-old organization made up of New York-based industry executives. Most recently Mr. Singer was elected to the 24 Karat Club of New York, an elite invite-only club serving the jewelry industry and limited to only 200 members. “Being a co-founder of CIRCA and involved since the very beginning, I have many wonderful stories,” Singer says. “It’s impossible to pick a favorite, because at the end of every client meeting after I have delivered a check I always ask what they plan to do with their newfound money. Sometimes it’s to finance school tuition for a child or grandchild or to embark on a home renovation, or any number of things. It’s just wonderful to see that they’re happy that they could take a non-performing asset and convert it into something with meaning. My favorite use of funds? A vacation!”
International Buyers & Directors
Marta Eizaguirre joined CIRCA in 2013 and currently serves as the Director of CIRCA Madrid. With more than 25 years experience in the luxury jewelry industry, Eizaguirre has held leadership roles at Bulgari, Hermès, and Joyería Suárez.
Eizaguirre was born and raised in San Sebastian, a small city in northern Spain near the French border. It was playing with her grandmother’s charm bracelet that first captivated her imagination. “I was amazed to discover the charms,” she says. “Holding each gold piece, turning it over in my hands, hearing the story of how my grandmother acquired it. I just loved it.”
It would take Eizaguirre many years to pursue a career in the jewelry industry. One day she was casually talking to a friend who said she was studying gemology, and just like that Eizaguirre realized that she, too, would like to learn more about precious stones. “I knew it would be interesting,” she says, “but I wasn’t prepared for how passionate I would become. Studying gems was as fascinating as anything I had ever learned about.”
Eizaguirre has received an Expert in Diamonds title from the HRD Antwerp Institute of Gemology and has completed the Jewelry Appraiser Course at the International School of Jewelry.
Today, she still gets a thrill when she uncovers a hidden gem in a client’s jewelry collection. “There are always hidden treasures inside a jewelry box, and I love to find them,” she says. “it is a pleasure to learn about the next piece of jewelry, trip, or personal adventure a client is ready to pursue.”
Rosemary Leung joined CIRCA in 2012, as the Director of CIRCA Hong Kong. She discovered her love for jewelry through her passion for old European paintings. “I travel to different European cities every year to see paintings, especially portraits. I am always fascinated by the details and designs of the jewelry worn back in the day,” she says in excitement while speaking about her two passions. “Chinese families are commonly interested in collecting solitaires, Rolexes, and branded pieces. My time in Europe and the time I spent working in the US allowed me to explore period pieces, which I have a huge interest in.”
Ms. Leung received her diamond and colored stone grading training from the GIA. Having studied in Australia and worked in London, New York, and Hong Kong, she understands cultural differences. “There is still a stigma to selling jewelry in the Asian markets, I understand very well my clients’ concerns, as my own family shares the same mentality.” Due to the market differences, Leung comprehends the importance of sharing her knowledge in jewelry and watches and strives to educate her clients on the advantages of selling and keeping specific pieces.
Rosa Tomàs’s father was a jewelry designer, and she remembers fondly how she watched him sketch ideas for new designs while the family gathered at the breakfast table. “I was raised with it,” Tomàs says. My father was a jeweler, my grandfather, my brothers, and cousins. As long as I can remember, I have been around jewelry. Tomàs joined CIRCA in 2011 and currently serves as the Director of CIRCA Barcelona, the city in which Tomàs was born and raised.
Tomàs says she wakes up every day, excited to see what will come through her door. Her gift is that she is well- known for her gentle approach.
Before joining CIRCA, Tomàs spent over 25 years in the jewelry industry where she worked in all facets of the business, ranging from manufacturing to importing and exporting diamonds. Her first job was working for her father when she was just 18 years old and starting school. Tomàs is a graduate of the School of Gemology at the University of Barcelona, where she trained as a diamond specialist. Biggest surprise: A woman once came in carrying a dozen boxes filled with costume jewelry that she inherited from her mother. She had a feeling there might be something important, hidden, and we found a pair of beautiful French platinum and diamond earrings. She was ecstatic!