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The Beck Gemmological Appraisal Laboratory


Carla Beck Certified Gemmologist

The Beck Gemmological Laboratory offers both the jewellery trade, government, the scientific community and consumers' accurate and reliable diamond and gemstone identification and certification to validate their gemstones and jewellery purchases.

Our old clients keep on coming back because we offer them complete discretion, courteous services and a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere. Not only is the appraisal process informative and professional, you will find yourself enjoying the procedure. Everything is done right in front of you with a step-by-step detailed explanation.

Our reputation has provided us with the opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in the jewellery business. We have also acted as expert witnesses in both civil and criminal cases.


appraisal services


**Minimum acceptable standards for jewellery appraisals** - View as PDF


Carla Beck Certified Gemmologist

At Beck Gemmological Appraisal Laboratory, you get a complete evaluation of your jewellery items, so that you can be confident of your purchase. Some information you will receive when you get an appraisal:

CUT: The way a diamond is cut and polished is vital. It is the precision and the delicacy of the cut that dictates the maximum amount of light the diamond will refract and reflect. The better its cut, the greater will be its brilliance, sparkle and fire.

COLOR: Most diamonds look colorless, but there are many subtle shade differences and the closer a diamond is to having no color the more valuable it becomes. Diamonds with no hint of color at all are very rare, but also rare are diamonds with strong color. These are called 'fancies'.

CLARITY: Thanks to nature, every diamond is unique. Each one possesses its own individuality. Minute crystals, tiny pinpoints, cleavages, feathers, etc. can all exist inside your diamond. These natural characteristics are called "inclusions" and help distingush your diamond from any other.

CARAT (weight): A diamond's weight is the simplest of its characteristics to measure, and from the earliest times has been used to calculate on aspect of the value of a diamond. Each carat is divided into 100 points. For example a quarter of a carat is 25, written as 0.25 carats/ It is easy to weigh an un-mounted diamond, but once it is in a setting, it is only possible to estimate it's weight by using special gauges and formulas.

PLOT OF INCLUSIONS: A plot of inclusions given as a "fingerprint" card to distinguish your diamond from all others.

DIGITAL IMAGE OF ITEM: If requested, on your written appraisal, you will receive a computer image on your appraisal. *Also if requested, a picture of a laser inscribed diamond may be attached to the appraisal.

APPRAISED VALUE: At the time of your consultation, you will be given the wholesale value, as well as the estimated retail value which will be used to insurance purposes.

CORPORATE SEAL: All written appraisals are finished off with a corporate seal stating that the appraisal was done by a graduate gemologist of the Canadian Gemmological Association.



Different types of appraisals


» Insurance Appraisal

A valuation of your jewellery for insurance purposes does not reflect the money likely to be obtained if the item is sold.

Insurance appraisals are required by insurance companies before they will insure jewellery beyond certain dollar amounts, check with your insurance company to see what your policy includes.

In order to insure jewellery whose value exceeds the amount covered by your home insurance, a personal articles floater or scheduled item may have to be added to your policy. Scheduled items added to your policy are individually insured.

Different insurance companies and the different policies they provide will have different options for settlement in the event of a loss. Know your policy!

Some questions to ask your insurance provider:

  1. Is an appraisal necessary for full coverage?
  2. What is the difference between scheduled and unscheduled coverage?
  3. Is there a deductible? If so, how much? Do I have the option to increase the deductible and thus lower the premium?
  4. Is my policy all-risk (partial loss, damage, mysterious disappearance, etc.)?
  5. Am I still covered if there is negligence or carelessness involved?
  6. Is the item covered if lost, stolen or damaged while in the possession of someone else? What if only a part is lost, stolen or damaged while in the possession of someone else?
  7. If there is a loss, do I have a choice of a full cash-out or will I have to accept less?
  8. Can I go to whomever I wish for the full replacement?
  9. If a loss has been replaced through an insurance company source, will I be allowed to verify proper replacement by an independent firm or accredited appraiser?
  10. How much will it cost per thousand for full coverage? Partial? What do I sacrifice for the limitations?
  11. Is depreciation ever imposed? To what and how is it computed?
  12. How often should I have an appraisal update?
  13. Am I limited to the appraised replacement cost should there be a sizable increase in the value?
  14. If there is damage to a piece, can I replace it or will I be limited to repair?
  15. What if the lost item is irreplaceable, like an antique?
  16. Are there any security precautions required? If not, would there be a premium savings if special precautions were taken, e.g., the items were kept in a home safe or in a safety deposit box when not being worn?
  17. What proof is needed to justify a claim?
  18. Are there different kinds of jewellery insurance available?
  19. Are there any exclusions?
  20. What is the pair and set clause? Will the insurance cover an additional amount for matching a missing item in a set if it hasn't been computed and stated?
  21. What types of property are not covered?
  22. Will you show me the actual language in the policy which addresses each concern I've expressed?


» Estate Appraisal

Estate appraisals are performed for a variety of different purposes: divorce/dissolution of property, probate/inheritance, and donation. Estate appraisal values are determined by fair market value. Fair market value is "the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell and both having a reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts".