Frequently Asked Questions

IGL has been a leading appraiser for over 30 years and is dedicated to the eductation of its customers

Can I just drop-by now to get an appraisal?

There are others with scheduled appointments and you would be walking in on their time. Please call (403)264-8526, we will gladly make an appointment to suit your schedule.

Do I have to leave my jewellery with you?

You are welcome to watch us work on your jewellery from our viewing area, this way you can be at ease that your jewellery never leaves your sight. You have the option to drop off your items to be appraised, but we recommend that you wait until our services are completed.

How often do I have to appraise my jewellery?

We recommend that you update your appraisal every three to five years, depending on the supply and demand of your gemstone, its size and its quality.

Why is the value on my appraisal lower than it used to be?

Because diamonds and gold are traded in US currency, their value is reflected in our strong Canadian dollar. Appraisal values will be dictated according to the increase and decrease of the Canadian Dollar.
PLEASE NOTE - Changing your insurance company may result in immediate updating of the appraisal, in order for your jewellery to be covered by the new insurer.

I'm having my ring repaired, how can I be sure that I'm getting the same diamond back?

We recommend having your diamond plotted. A plot is a diagram of your diamond's inclusions which are located in specific regions in your diamond. No two diamonds have the same inclusions in those locations. Therefore, a plot is like a fingerprint. After the repair, any gemologist will be able to I.D. your diamond.

What is a Jewellery Appraisal?

An appraisal is a written professional opinion as to the authenticity, quality, design and estimated value of a piece of jewellery. Since it is an opinion, backed and supported by education, training, equipment and experience, it is important to understand that there can be honest variations between competent appraisers.

Why should you have your jewellery appraised?

The most common reasons for obtaining an appraisal are:

  1. Insurance purposes, against loss, damage, or theft. Updates are recommended every 1 to 5 years.
  2. Estate/Probate purposes ie. Fair Market Value
  3. To confirm the quality of new purchase
  4. To confirm the value of any purchase
  5. To find out the appreciated value of present jewellery or heirloom
  6. Identification of stones and authenticity of metals
  7. International travel purposes (U.S. and Canada Customs)

Who is qualified to appraise your jewellery?

The Gemologist - a professional who has had extensive gemological training and has passed intensive written and practical examinations to obtain his/her degree.

The gemologist/appraiser must have years of experience and knowledge in evaluating gems and jewellery based on accurate information from the marketplace ie. pricelists, trade publications, etc.

The gemologist must constantly keep current with the ever-changing gemological technologies and market developments. He/she must be using modern techniques and equipment in order to conduct their tasks.

Why choose IGL to appraise your jewellery?

The Graduate Gemologists at International Gemological Laboratories have been appraising, identifying and valuating gemstones and jewellery since 1981.

We promise a consistent, unbiased, and professional opinion every time you appraise your jewellery with us. We believe in maintaining our great reputation by guaranteeing the highest standard of quality service.

What details should be on the appraisal?

  1. Identification of all stones, their shape, dimensions, and approximate weights.
  2. A quality analysis, based on the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) system of grading.
  3. All diamonds must be graded as to their colour, clarity and cut.
  4. Coloured stones must be graded as to their colour (hue, tone & saturation), clarity (degree of flaws), and cut (proportions).
  5. All metals must be described as to their content, stampings, setting styles, design and gram weight. Also noting engraving (if any)
  6. The appraisal certificate must be numbered, dated, signed and sealed by the gemologist.
  7. An estimated retail replacement value or estate value must be clearly stated on the certificate.

How to make an insurance claim?

  1. Contact your agent or insurance company to inform them of the loss or damage.
  2. Have your insurance adjuster contact the gemologist/appraiser who appraised the jewellery to further assist in proper replacement of the item(s).
  3. Ensure the replaced piece is comparable to the original item by bringing it and the original appraisal to the gemologist/appraiser for confirmation.

Gemological Testing Instruments used in Identification and appraisals of gemstones and jewellery:

Microscope to view a gem’s internal characteristics for clarity grading and identification
Refractometer to read a gem’s refraction and birefringence for the purpose of identification
Polariscope to view a gem’s optical characteristics under crossed polarizing filters
CPF Screening identifying diamond types and synthetic diamonds using Cross Polarized Filters
Fluorescence to view a gem’s fluorescence characteristics under long-wave and short-wave U.V. light
SG Testing identifying a gemstone by determining its Specific Gravity
Thermal Test analyzing the amount heat conductivity in a gemstone
Spectroscope to view a gem’s spectral absorption in long-wave to short-wave visible spectrum
Master Colour Diamonds to colour grade white diamonds from D to N
Precious Metal Testing using acid and/or digital technology to test the quality of gold, silver and platinum

Advanced Testing / Synthetic Diamonds

Advanced testing of coloured diamonds, synthetics diamonds and enhanced diamonds which is done on specialized and high-end diamond analytical instruments at our affiliate lab (CGL) in Vancouver:

UV-VIS-NIR spectrophotometers for colour origin of diamonds and gems
Infrared FTIR spectrophotometers for identification of synthetic diamonds and gems and treated jade, typing of diamonds, etc.
Photoluminescence spectrophotometers for detection of HPHT-treated diamonds
Raman spectrophotometer for IIa high colour HPHT diamonds, and fracture filled emeralds
Custom-made advanced instruments for screening type IIa diamonds
GIA Canadian Jewellers Association