About Ellie

“Good design has a broad sensual appeal. It is aesthetically balanced, interesting to touch, yet comfortable. It has a conceptual component that transcends function such as an allusion to movement that suggests time and space.”
-Ellie Thompson


An enthusiastic traveler, with an adventurous spirit, Ellie Thompson is influenced by world’s both natural and modern. Her diverse styles express both the linear, geometric world of her urban experience, while other collections high light her love of nature. An avid mountain biker, and skier, she calls both Chicago and Montana home

thisfileThompson has work featured in the permanent collection in the Grainger Hall of Gems at The Field Museum in Chicago. Her Double Bison sterling silver belt buckle was featured in the 2016 C.M. Russell Museum Exhibit and Auction in Great Falls, Montana. In 2015, her Wild Roses sterling silver belt buckle won an award at The Western Design Conference in Jackson, Wyoming.

Thompson has won numerous awards for her innovative use of rare colored gemstones and precious metals. She has earned the prestigious Spectrum Award three times and the American Vision Award twice as well as accolades from World Gold Council and Platinum Guild International. In 2000, she was awarded First Prize in the American Jewelry Design Council’s New Talent Competition, an award that launched her into the national spotlight

Her work is available through selected galleries and stores across the country including Creighton Block in Big Sky, Montana, Atomic 79 in Dillon, Montana, Goodie 2 Shoes in Jackson, Wyoming,  Eat Gallery in Maysville, Kentucky, and by appointment in her Chicago and Montana studios.


Helidore Necklace from the Field Museum Collection featured in The Grainger Hall of Gems for eight years

Ellie Thompson, a native of New England, earned her degree as a graduate gemologist from the prestigious Gemological Institute of America (GIA). She later studied Valuation Science with the American Society of Appraisers focusing on personal property appraisal with a concentration in jewelry, earning the Master Gemologist Appraiser designation. She founded The Chicago Gem Lab, Inc., an independent gemological testing laboratory and fine jewelry appraisal firm. The firm quickly grew to be the largest independent jewelry appraisal company in the midwest, serving consumers and trade, as well as trust and estate professionals and government agencies. Ms. Thompson worked as a consultant to Leslie Hindman Auctioneers as the Jewelry Specialist and department appraiser presenting four fine jewelry auctions annually. Her other consultancies include auction houses Sotheby’s and Butterfields.

Ms. Thompson was a frequent guest appraiser appearing on two popular television shows on the Home and Garden Television Network (HGTV), At the Auction with Leslie Hindman and The Appraisal Fair, which were viewed in more than 80 million households nationwide.

Ms. Thompson provides appraisal services of fine jewelry for insurance,  estate planning, settlement and equitable distribution. In addition to providing appraisal services, Ms. Thompson is available to consult on specific acquisitions, provide curatorial services, repair and restore vintage and antique or contemporary jewelry, custom jewelry design and manufacturing.Please call or email to schedule an appointment for the re-evaluation of your jewelry.