By Brecken Branstrator
James Shigley is pictured here with past recipients of the Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement, given to GIA employees who best further the institute’s mission. From left: John Koivula, analytical microscopist; Kathryn Kimmel, senior vice president and chief marketing officer; Shigley; and Tom Moses, executive vice president and chief laboratory and research officer.
Carlsbad, Calif.—The Gemological Institute of America has bestowed its highest honor, the Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement, on James E. Shigley.

The award—named in honor of GIA’s second president, Richard T. Liddicoat—recognizes those who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to furthering its mission.

During the distinguished research fellow’s more than three decades at GIA, Shigley has become “widely recognized as the face and voice of GIA research,” the institute said.

He has given talks and published extensively on diamonds, colored stones and gem identification, representing the institute around the world and building its reputation for groundbreaking research on a global scale.

Since 1984, he has authored or coauthored 195 scientific articles, 27 of which received Gems & Gemology’s “Most Valuable Article” award. He also serves as the journal’s contributing editor and as the editor of the “G&G” in Review book series.

Shigley was vital in the creation of the GIA Gem Project, a collection of 2,800 stones representing 225 minerals from the Edward J. Gübelin Collection used for research, education and display.

“Mr. Liddicoat believed deeply that GIA should have a strong research department, and thanks to Dr. Shigley’s work—from the very inception of his career—this vision is fulfilled,” said Tom Moses, GIA executive vice president of laboratory and research. “Dr. Shigley’s selfless sharing of knowledge leaves a lasting legacy, not only for GIA but for the gem and jewelry industry.”

His other industry recognitions include the Accredited Gemologists Association’s Antonio Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology in 2007 and the America Gem Society Lifetime Achievement Award.

The GIA’s Liddicoat Award has been given to only 13 people since it launched in 1994. Several recipients are still currently at the institute: Moses; Kathryn Kimmel, senior vice president and chief marketing officer; and John Koivula, analytical microscopist.

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