About Us

David Conger, Graduate Gemologist

Conger’s Jewellers

Conger’s Jewellers was established in 1981 by David Conger, a GIA Graduate Gemologist, as a local independent jewellery appraisal service.

This was at a time when there were few qualified Gemologists in Ottawa. With some initial advertising. He attracted the interest of a some local jewellery stores which were sending their customer’s jewellery to Montreal and Toronto for appraisal. By 1988, Conger was providing a jewellery appraisal service for more than 30 jewellery stores in Ottawa, as well as some trust companies and the Canada Revenue Agency.

David Conger is a graduate of the GIA (Graduate Gemologist – Earned in Residence). His education was at the Santa Monica campus of GIA. With 40 years in the jewellery business, he is an expert in the Ottawa area on diamonds and has appraised thousands of items of jewellery.


Dave Conger started working in the jewellery business as a student in 1976. Eager to learn to be a goldsmith, he quickly picked up the skills to repair jewellery and was doing the repairs at the store he worked at – Mappins Jewellers. His love for jewellery continued to grow and by 1980, he had graduated as a Gemologist from one of the world’s well known colleges in America.

After graduating, he was offered a job in Toronto for a chain of jewellery stores as the chief diamond and gemstone buyer / jewellery appraiser. By the end of that year he was asked to manage the jewellery repair and appraisal business for Simpson’s and The Bay across Canada. This was the first time in Canada that jewellery appraisals were performed while-you wait and on opening day, the line outside the Queen Street Toronto store was around the block for hours.

It was clear that people were hungry for the service and were reluctant to let their jewellery out of their sight. The days were long and Dave set his sights on starting his own business so he returned to Ottawa to establish Conger’s Jewellers, a local independent jewellery appraisal service. He provided jewellery appraisals in the privacy and security of customer’s homes and offices.

This was at a time when there were just one or two Gemologists in Ottawa. Many stores were shipping jewellery out of town for appraisal and no one offered to do the work in front of customers. With some advertising, Dave attracted the interest of local jewellery stores. By 1988, Conger was providing the jewellery appraisal service for 30 fine retail jewellery stores in Ottawa, as well as several trust companies and the Canada Revenue Agency – Customs & Excise.

Education & Experience

Dave Conger is a Graduate Gemologist with the distinction of Earned in Residence at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). This distinction is above and beyond the norm of many gemologists who study by correspondence courses.

It’s important because residence students are exposed to far more testing in the area of gem identification and diamond grading. His education was at the Santa Monica campus of GIA. With more than 40 years in the jewellery business, he is recognized as an expert in his field and has appraised several thousand items of jewellery.

Jewellery Design

In 1992, Dave Conger opened his jewellery store in Ottawa, along with his father Gerald who had recently retired from a senior position in the public service of the Canadian federal government. This was a move into the world of jewellery sales and design. After 3 years, Conger’s Jewellers decided to invest in one of Ottawa’s first GemVision Design Workstations.

This was a heavy investment into new technology. Design software was new to the industry. Dave Conger has always been committed to maintaining state-of-the-art technologies in jewellery design, including Panther 3D Design, RhinoGold, MatrixGold and now 3D printing. His enthusiasm has never turned down. His love for designing jewellery is obvious to people who meet him.

What’s Happening Now?

For 29 years, Conger’s Jewellers was located at Hampton Park Plaza, at the corner of Carling and Kirkwood Avenue. Dave Conger closed the retail store when the pandemic started. Today you will find him working from his home-based gem lab and design studio. Customers are welcome to contact and meet with him by appointment. Due to the risks associated with the Covid-19 virus, meetings are curbside. Emails and phone calls are always welcome.

Quality service and personalized attention distinguish Conger’s from most retail stores. Lower overhead guarantees good value. If you give Conger’s Jewellers your business, you won’t be disappointed.


Types Of Jewellery Appraisals

The value of an item of jewellery depends on the purpose of the evaluation. It’s the same as your car. If you sell it, the value is most likely lower than the cost of replacing it new. The first value would be the Fair Market Value and the second would be the Replacement Value.

Here Are Two Popular Types Of Jewellery Appraisals:

Insurance Appraisals

An insurance appraisal is a complete description of an item of jewellery, supporting an estimate of the value, to be used as the basis for establishing the coverage and cost of an insurance policy. It establishes the upper limit of insurance coverage for an item of jewellery and is based on that item’s most common source for replacement. This is called the replacement value. For example, if an item is an antique cameo brooch, the value of that item will be established by researching the costs of similar items at auction, antique stores, or estate sales, rather than a retail jewellery store. This is because a retail jewellery store would not be the most common source for an antique cameo brooch.

When an item is sold by brand name and is clearly identified by way of markings, the appraisal value is the cost to replace the item with the same brand. If the branded item is no longer available, a comparable value will be used.


Check with your insurance company. Without a jewellery appraisal, most home policies may offer a minimal level of insurance coverage in the event of theft. It is normally required that you to submit a jewellery appraisal to receive proper and full coverage for all risks. Without the appraisal, you may be subject to a limit of coverage and often have to pay a deductible in the event of a claim. Deductibles are normally between $500 and $1000. Your broker or agent would be able to help answer questions regarding your coverage and make good suggestions to help you insure your jewellery in the best possible way.

Insurance premiums are expensive before a loss and really inexpensive after one.

Estate Appraisals For Probate

When a person passes away, their property (including jewellery) is described and evaluated for probate. In the case of assets like jewellery, the Fair Market Value, rather than the Replacement Value is used. This is the value that the item would sell for in an open market. Even if the jewellery is not for sale, the Ontario government requires an estimated value of the jewellery as though it was sold one minute before the time of death. It is advised that you have a professional jewellery appraiser prepare the estimated value because the government has the right to question any estimate for several years after the time of death. As the Executor of the will, you are responsible for proving the value of the jewellery and other assets were honest and legitimate.

Fair Market Value Definition

The price that a given property or asset would fetch in the marketplace, subject to the following conditions:

  1. The buyer and seller have reasonable knowledge about the item for sale; they are behaving in their own best interests and are free of undue pressure to trade.
  2. A reasonable time period is given for the transaction to be completed. Given these conditions, an asset’s fair market value should represent an accurate valuation or assessment of its worth.

Comparisons are made to estate auctions, antique store selling prices, and the second-hand market of eBay and other online sources. These are places where you would find similar items for sale. The Fair Market Value of an article of jewellery is often a small portion of the cost to replace it with a comparable item in new condition. Exceptions are very collectable or rare items in high demand.