About GGA

GEMS GRADING & APPRAISING INC. (GGA) is a full service gemmological laboratory based in Vancouver, British Columbia. We provide independent evaluation of diamonds, coloured gemstones, and fine jewellery for members of the jewellery industry as well as consumers.

In addition to grading and evaluation services, we also offer jewellery photography (ideal for websites and advertising) and diamond laser inscription. In an effort to provide genuine information to the public, we are offering workshops on how to buy diamonds, gemstones and jewellery.


Who We Are

GGA is privately owned and managed by Andrey and Katerina Tolmachev.

Andrey Tolmachev MA, A.G. earned his Masters Degree in International Business and Linguistics (Mandarin) from Moscow State University (Russia).

After graduating from the university, he worked for 10 years with the Ministry of International Trade of Russia. Upon leaving the government service, he worked for 12 years as Vice President of the Russian-American Joint Venture, representing company interests in China. While on vacation in Russia in the late 90’s, he visited a diamond cutting facility in Moscow and immediately became interested in diamonds and gemstones.

Upon arriving in Canada, in 2000, he enrolled with the Canadian Institute of Gemmology. In 2002, he obtained the Accredited Gemmologist Diploma designation and started working for the European Gemological Laboratory as Diamond Grader and later on, as the Supervisor of the laboratory.

Katerina Tolmachev graduated from the Moscow Institute of Economics with a Masters Degree in Environmental Studies. She has always been passionate about gemstones and jewellery design.

While in high school, she spent many summers with her aunt and uncle (Professors in Geology) on field trips collecting samples of different minerals, including gemstones.

She realized her dream, after coming to Canada, by completing her Gemmological studies at Vancouver Community College. In 2004, she became Fellow of the Canadian Gemmological Association. Since that time, she worked as a Diamond Grader for a Vancouver based gemmological laboratory.

In 2002, Katerina attended photography classes at the Visual Arts Center, with the emphasis on small objects photography and jewellery in particular.