Northwest Gemological Laboratory

Bellevue, Washington, USA

Avg. Rating Rating star5.0 (1 review)

Ted Irwin - Jewelry Appraiser
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About this Appraiser

Northwest Gemological Laboratory (NGL) pioneered the profession of the independent fine jewelry appraiser in 1978. True independence means no buying, no selling, no brokering and no commissions paid or received. By being a disinterested party with a wide range of expertise, NGL receives referrals from fine jewelers, insurance and legal professionals and mostly − past NGL clients.

Ted Irwin joined NGL in January of 1980 and has since evaluated some two hundred thousand articles. Early advantages for Ted were exposure to vintage jewelry from a major estate dealer, evaluating diverse gem varieties from world-wide sources, and a lot of repetition. In addition, he was soon teaching at Northwest Gemological Institute (NGI), an affiliate school of gemology. Showing others how to use lab equipment, identify and grade stones strengthened the skills that lend both confidence and an instinct for when to question evaluation results. Ted participates in multiple industry conferences yearly and maintains a network of consultants worldwide. Ted operates the Northwest Jewelry Conference which brings together period jewelry enthusiasts from throughout the country each year.

Insurance appraisals provide the most comprehensive level of documentation with a narrative about the article′s appearance, setting style and metal content. Center diamonds are diagrammed to establish positive identity; all diamonds are fully graded and all gems fully described. Photographs and a value reflective of true replacement costs round out the process, which can be performed within an hour. What′s behind this and all NGL evaluations is the level of expertise, research and impartiality applied.

Estates do not have a one-fits-all scenario. Some require full documentation, some an abbreviated description and some, no paperwork at all. Often an hourly consultation can settle family dispositions. Knowing how to apply proper value is the key to this and other potentially legal applications. Documents for trusts, gifting, tax purposes, etc. also may be required and following prescribed guidelines is imperative.

Resale of jewelry requires a value representation to the buyer. In lieu of a full appraisal, NGL offers an abbreviated Preliminary Report that provides necessary information in a low cost format.

Legal proceedings don′t always involve a courtroom. NGL has been contracted as the impartial appraiser where the parties respect unbiased/independent, accurate reporting. NGL has helped settle dissolutions, criminal and civil cases, fraud investigations; jewelry scams and is fully prepared to provide expert testimony at trial.

Downtown Bellevue without the downtown hassle. The laboratory and school are at the quieter end of downtown Bellevue, WA with free on-site parking in a class-A professional building. Clients schedule while-you-wait appointments or can drop off during business hours for 2-3 day service at a reduced rate.

One in a couple million: Those were the odds of a local finding a valuable pearl in her seafood dish. Read the story on the AIJV Blog.


The Business

  • Private Practice only
  • Business mix: 100% valuations
  • Principal + 2 staff Appraiser
  • Mon - Thu: 8.30am to 4pm
    Fri: 8.30am to 3pm
  • At Appraiser's office


  • Per-item & time-based fees
  • All major cards accepted
  • Full valuation reports start at $95


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  • GG
  • ICGA


  • AGA, AGS, GIA Alumni, SGA,
  • JVC

Curriculum Vitae


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While you wait jewelry Appraisals


Northwest Gemological Laboratory
10801 Main Street #105
WA 98004


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Reviews (1)
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All reviews have been verified. The Jewelry Appraiser has confirmed the validity of the report details provided by the Reviewer but did not see the Reviewers rating or review text during the validation process. This produces unbiased, reliable and genuine reviews.


avatarAllison. Sammamish

Review starsDec 2017

Thrilled My 1900’s Festoon Necklace Was Identified

For years I have wanted to have my sterling silver antique necklace (Egyptian Revival motif, with sodalite, lapis and plique-a-jour) identified if possible, as it belonged to a distant aunt. I took it to NW Gemological Laboratory to see if they could provide any information. I brought along a photo of my aunt wearing it in the early 1900s. Ted was able to research the necklace and attribute it to a certain maker, tell me more about it as well as give an appraisal. I’m absolutely thrilled! I like to know about the antiques I enjoy so much, and now the missing piece of the puzzle has been found!! Ted’s service and knowledge exceeded my expectations.

Ted even called me early on a Saturday morning to tell me he was in the office if I wanted to pick it up since I'm not able to go during the week (their normal business hours).

He also identified a gemstone for me I’ve had for years. I know now that it is not particularly valuable so I won’t spend a fortune on getting it set!

NW Gemological is absolutely the best - I will bring more jewelry in for appraisal! I heard they were reputable and extremely knowledgable, and now I have personal experience to attest to this.