National Jeweler Network


French gem association honors Koivula, Liddicoat

September 18, 2013

Carlsbad, Calif.--The French Association of Gemmology has named gemologists John Koivula and the late Richard Liddicoat as among the 50 personalities who’ve shaped the history of gems.

The association recognized both Koivula and Liddicoat in the modern and contemporary gemology category. The two were honored in Paris on Sept. 5 as part of a celebration of the association’s 50th anniversary.

Koivula is the Gemological Institute of America’s chief research gemologist, joining the organization in 1976. He has spent more than 50 years studying and photographing gemstones, and has published more than 800 articles and notes on gemstone inclusions and related topics.

A noted authority on microscopy, photomicrography and gemstone inclusions, Koivula also is the author of MicroWorld of Diamonds, co-author of the three-volume Photoatlas of Inclusions in Gemstones and co-author of Geologica, a book on geological landforms.

Liddicoat was a former GIA president, beginning with the institute in 1940 as the assistant director of education. His early work on colored stones led to the publication of his Handbook of Gem Identification in 1947.

Liddicoat exceeded Robert Shipley as the GIA’s executive director in 1952 and became editor-in-chief of Gems & Gemology, a position he held for 50 years. He was the architect of the GIA’s D to Z diamond grading system, and co-authored the first editions of The Diamond Dictionary and The Jewelers’ Manual.

In 1971, Liddicoat expanded the GIA’s educational offerings to Japan, marking the institute’s international expansion. He stepped down as GIA president in 1983 and served as chairman of the board of governors for the organization until his death in 2002.