National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

Appointments: Freeman’s, Fruchtman Marketing, more

February 12, 2014

New York--Freeman’s Auctioneers has named Michael Larsen as the head of the Fine Jewelry & Watches department.

Larsen has more than 20 years of experience in the jewelry industry, including expertise in appraising, manufacturing and custom design as well as an extensive understanding of watches and timepieces. Prior to joining Freeman’s, he served as the senior jewelry specialist at Bonhams in Los Angeles for more than 10 years.

He is also a graduate gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America and was awarded the certified gemologist appraiser title from the American Gemological Society.

Larsen will be working out of Freeman’s Philadelphia and Los Angeles offices.

Fruchtman Marketing has hired Dustyn Evearitt as account coordinator. Evearitt most recently served as marketing manager for the Automobile Racing Club of America, where he developed and implemented sales, advertising, promotional and marketing plans.

Evearitt is a graduate of the University of Toledo with a degree in business administration.

Concurrent with the new hire, Fruchtman has promoted Lindsay Bernsdorff to senior account coordinator and movedMallory Lee to the company’s digital department, where she will serve as the new digital account coordinator.

De Beers has made three new appointments to its executive committee--Paul Rowley, executive vice president of global sightholder sales; Neil Ventura, executive vice president of auction sales; and Balisi Bonyongo, CEO of Debswana. All three appointments are effective immediately.

Rowley just took over the executive vice president role from Varda Shine, who left the company at the end of January after 30 years with De Beers. Rowley joined De Beers in 1983, filling a number of senior positions at the company, including serving on both the DTC Botswana and Namibia DTC boards as well as acting CEO of DTC Botswana prior to his current role.

RELATED CONTENT: Varda Shine leaving De Beers

Ventura, meanwhile, joined De Beers in 1989 and since taking his current position has established De Beers as a market leader in the sale of rough diamonds to small, mid-size and large manufacturing, retailing and trading businesses via online auctions.

Bonyongo started at Debswana in 1993 as a junior plant metallurgist and has since held several senior positions, including corporate strategy manager before assuming the role of general manager at the Jwaneng processing plant and later chief operating officer of Debswana.

The Gemological Institute of America has selected Dr. Karen Smit as the first associate in the Richard T. Liddicoat Postdoctoral Research program. Smit began her tenure at the New York laboratory on Feb. 3.

She received her doctorate in the Diamond Research Group at the University of Alberta in Canada, and has gained experience using geochemical and isotopic techniques to research the origin of the sub-continental lithospheric mantle and its diamonds. She also has experience working in field mapping in Greenland and as a geologist in Tanzania.

The research position is named in honor of the GIA’s former president Richard T. Liddicoat, widely known as the “father of modern gemology.” Participants will examine issues related to diamonds, colored stones, pearls and instrument development. Each position will be tailored to focus on the associate’s expertise and interest.

Christie’s continues its development in Asia with five senior appointments. Eric Chang has been named as deputy chairman of Asian 20th century and contemporary art; Ben Kong will be deputy chairman of Chinese paintings; Vickie Sek was named deputy chairman of jewelry and jadeite; Jinqing Cai has been named president of Christie’s China; and Rebecca Wei will be President of Christie’s Asia (excluding China).

Aurouet de Mervelec S.A.S. and Gem Lab Services have achieved certification from the Responsible Jewellery Council for meeting the ethical, human rights, social and environmental standards as established by the council’s member certification system.