Ellie Thompson has won numerous awards for her innovative use of precious colored gemstones and metals. She has earned the prestigious Spectrum Award three times and the American Vision Award twice. She has also received accolades from World Gold Council and Platinum Guild International. In 2000 Ms. Thompson was awarded First Prize in the American Jewelry Design Councils New Talent Competition, an award that launched her into the national spotlight. Ellie has two necklaces featured in Grainger Hall of Gems at The Field Museum in Chicago and also designed an exclusive bridal collection for The Field Museum.
Ellies designs have been in publications including Jewelry Connoisseur, Daily Candy, Chicago Tribune, Lustre Magazine, International Jeweler and Skirt Magazine. Ellie Thompson has been a guest appraiser on national television for the Home and Garden Television Network (HGTV), At the Auction with Leslie Hindman and The Appraisal Fair.
A native of New England, she earned her degree as a graduate gemologist from the prestigious Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Later, Ms. Thompson 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. With over 20 years of experience in the trade, Ellie Thompsons extensive background in appraisal and auction consulting has given her a sophisticated understanding of what produces enduring value over time.
In 1991, 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 Sothebys and Butterfields.
Living and working in Chicago, Ms. Thompsons design vocabulary is influenced by the modern architecture and complex urban fabric of her environment. The structural steel of the Elevated train and the pure forms of Chicagos early Modern skyscrapers are translated into the platinum posts and clean planes of her City Rhythms and Time + Space collections.
Artists Statement Good design has a broad sensual appeal. It is aesthetically balanced, interesting to touch, yet comfortable. It tells a story, starts a conversation, and enhances individual style.