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CIRCA Buyers & Directors

CIRCA’s buyers are among the foremost authorities on valuing jewelry. They hail from diverse backgrounds in the jewelry industry ranging from the most exquisite jewelry brands to top auction houses. Most importantly, CIRCA’s professional’s graduate from a thorough in-house training program before they begin meeting with clients.

U.S. Buyers & Directors

Howard Beardsley, Director

Palm Beach & Boca Raton

Howard Beardsley, Director

Palm Beach & Boca Raton

Howard Beardsley grew up in Florida, surrounded by his grandmother and her dazzling friends. This is where he was first exposed to  jewelry, and where he learned the difference in stone quality and design. “Even though I was very young at the time, that experience really cemented in my mind that I wanted to pursue a career in the jewelry business,” he says.

Beardsley is currently the Director of CIRCA Palm Beach, and has 25 years of experience having worked for a number of the most prominent and established retailers in the business, including Tourneau, Hamilton Jewelers and Mayors Jewelers. He is a graduate of the Gemological Institute of America and the American Gem Society. He completed the American Society of Appraisers Master Gemologist Course, and he is a specialist in luxury timepieces such as Patek Philippe and Breitling.

Beardsley is as eager to discover hidden treasure today as he was as a child. “There’s nothing better than finding an unexpected treasure in a collection of everyday jewelry,” he says with a smile. “And then when we buy something and we see what a positive difference it makes in a client’s life, we know we’ve done something wonderful.” Beardsley says he loves to hear what his clients plan to do with their newfound resources.

“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 was costume,” he explains. “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 for her living expenses as well. Now that’s a good day.”

Carter Davies, Director

Chicago

Carter Davies, Director

Chicago

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).

For about 20 years leading up to Mr. Davies position with CIRCA, he had worked in several areas of the jewelry industry.  His experience in designing and manufacturing jewelry, gave him the eye to discern quality benchmarks and the appreciation for the time and labor involved in producing fine jewelry and luxury timepieces. He has traveled the world, from Italy to India and China, purchasing jewelry, meeting many of the world’s top designers.

This vital experience led him to CIRCA, where he is the Director of the Chicago office. “Chicago is a special place to live. It offers all the luxury that a big city delivers but still maintains a small town feel. I am grateful for the trust CIRCA has bestowed on me to continue to deliver the level of excellence that our Chicago clients have grown accustomed to.”

Soheila Jalali, Buyer

Beverly Hills

Soheila Jalali, Buyer

Beverly Hills

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 I’d previously had.” Soheila’s experience encompasses various sectors from diamond grading to antique, modern, luxury retail and estate jewelry. “Now that I’m with CIRCA, I am still excited to see the variety of jewelry that my clients bring in.”

Elizabeth Kaufman, Buyer

NEW YORK CITY, GREENWICH, SHORT HILLS

Elizabeth Kaufman, Buyer

NEW YORK CITY, GREENWICH, SHORT HILLS

Elizabeth Kaufman started her career at an early age. She can still remember spending time with her grandfather, sorting diamond melee stones when she was eight-years-old and then kept working for him throughout her teens in his jewelry manufacturing facility. “I hold the jewelry industry dear. I have a great fondness for the lore, the legends, and the stories of the industry; they’ve been handed down to me by my grandfather.”

Elizabeth continued working in different facets of the industry; including product development and design, which led her to pursue diamond and jewelry buying. For the next 15 years, she developed an eye for diamonds and diamond buying. “I knew for some time that I wanted to work for CIRCA. I wanted to work with buyers that knew about the history of jewelry, and its value. I’ve been fortunate now to learn from the best.”

“I am continuing my education every day learning about turn-of-the-century pieces and the people who have worn and loved them and have passed them down.  Jewelry carries a personal history and memories of each wear.  While the stories are vibrant and fascinating, we have to be prepared for a wide variety of product that could walk in the door. And we are.”

Elizabeth joined CIRCA in 2016 as a buyer in the New York City Headquarters.  In addition to her position in New York, she is the buyer for the Greenwich and Short Hills CIRCA offices. Elizabeth is a Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Lee Siegel, Director

Bethesda, MD / Washington DC

Lee Siegel, Director

Bethesda, MD / Washington DC

Lee Siegel has worked in the jewelry business for more than 20 years and has loved fine jewelry since his childhood. A graduate of the Gemological Institute of America, Siegel has also completed a comprehensive course in rough diamond grading. “It has given me a true understanding of how diamonds are brought from the rough stage to the finished product,” he enthuses. In addition to Siegel’s diamond and colored stones expertise, he specializes in luxury, estate, and modern timepieces.

Before joining CIRCA in 2006, Siegel spent 15 years working in his family’s jewelry business in Virginia. He currently serves as the Director of CIRCA Bethesda.

“I feel very privileged to have built such a loyal clientele in the Washington metro area,” Siegel says, “I take great pride in sharing the provenance and merits of each piece of jewelry with my clients.”

 

Thuyvi Tran, Director

San Francisco

Thuyvi Tran, Director

San Francisco

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.

Jeffrey Singer, Senior Vice President

NEW YORK CITY, GREENWICH, SHORT HILLS

Jeffrey Singer, Senior Vice President

NEW YORK CITY, GREENWICH, SHORT HILLS

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 Singer 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 Singer remains a Co-Founder and Vice President. Singer 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 but 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 Singer was elected into 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, Director

Madrid

Marta Eizaguirre, Director

Madrid

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. “I knew studying gems would be interesting,” Eizaguirre says, “but I wasn’t prepared for how passionate I would become.”

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, Director

Hong Kong

Rosemary Leung, Director

Hong Kong

Rosemary Leung was born and raised in Hong Kong, and in keeping with Chinese tradition she received a jade pendant and bangle when she was a child. The cool, milky green stone is thought to have healing and calming qualities, and thus a good way to promote better sleep in children. “I remember playing with that bangle on my wrist,” Leung says now. “I think that was my earliest jewelry memory.” Later on, Leung started collecting Elsa Peretti pieces from Tiffany. “I loved those pieces for many years,” she says. “But eventually my style changed and I decided to sell them. That’s when I first started to understand the idea of the recycling concept that is an integral part of CIRCA’s philosophy. To this day, I like to tell my clients about my own selling experience, and I think it helps them understand the process.”

Leung joined CIRCA in 2012 and serves as the Director of CIRCA Hong Kong. She holds a B.S. in Applied Psychology from the University of Southern Queensland and is GIA certified in diamond grading. She is considered one of the foremost experts in Art Deco jewelry.

“At CIRCA we value the time we spend with our clients,” Leung says, “I want all of my clients to ask me as many questions as needed, and I enjoy explaining the origin and history of each individual piece.”

Rosa Tomas, Director

Barcelona

Rosa Tomas, Director

Barcelona

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.

Prior to 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!

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