By Brecken Branstrator
Dr. William Hanneman, at left, has been named as the recipient of the 2018 Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology. At right is his friend and the AGA’s first award recipient, Alan Hodgkinson.
San Diego--The Accredited Gemologists Association has announced that William Hanneman will receive the 2018 Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology.

The award recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the field. Recipients are chosen through a majority vote of AGA members.

Hanneman has contributed a great deal to the gem community, the AGA said, from education to various innovative tools, and exemplifies what the Bonanno Award represents: gemological expertise and excellence in gemological practice, research and education, and a dedication to sharing gemological knowledge through formal teaching and professional collaboration.

The tools he created are notable because they filled a gap for something portable, affordable and practical.

They include the Diamond Eye, a reflectivity meter providing RIs for gems with RI values over 1.80. It provided readings for gems like diamond and synthetic moissanite, CZ and other simulants.

Another tool provided not only an RI, but birefringence and dispersion for faceted gems, with RI values up to 2.37 and without the need for toxic liquids.

His color filters, developed in collaboration with Alan Hodgkinson, provided quick and easy pre-screening ID, and his specific gravity balance was the first to provide direct readings, even for gems weighing less than a carat, the AGA said.

He also has authored a number of books, including “Guide to Affordable Gemology,” “Pragmatic Spectroscopy for Gemologists,” “Diamond Cut Grading Simplified” and “Naming Gem Garnets,” all motivated by his desire to make gemological information affordable and accessible to all.

“Dr. Hanneman has dedicated decades to providing gemologists with practical solutions to many of gemology’s big challenges. It would difficult to think of anyone more deserving of this recognition,” AGA President Stuart Robertson said.

Previous recipients of the Bonanno award include Al Gilbertson, Cigdem Lule, Thomas Hainschwang, John Emmett, Emmanuel Fritsch, Stuart Robertson, Richard Hughes, Christopher Smith and James Shigley, among many others.

The AGA Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology will be presented at the AGA’s Gala Dinner Dance at the end of its Tucson Conference, held on Wednesday, Jan. 31, from 6:30 to 11:00 p.m. at the Tucson University Park Hotel.

The award includes a personalized plaque and $2,000 research honorarium funded by the AGA membership.

For additional information or to attend the conference or gala, go to or call 844-288-4367.

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